Foresters Restaurant and Bar is a 140-seat collaboration between FV developer Tim Gurner and Signature Hospitality Group opens in the heritage-listed Forester’s Hall at the bottom of the enormous FV Peppers hotel and residences on.
Foresters is a significant switch-up for Signature Group, which is best known for restaurant chains TGI Fridays and The Sporting Globe. Hence the hiring of general manager Simon Barnes and chef Peter Popow, who between them have experience working for multifaceted hospitality groups such as Keystone, Solotel, Merivale and Seagrass.
The venue is certainly a looker. Elements of Flatiron-era New York have been tied into the design of the old Forester’s Hall (originally built in 1889 it was later Cook’s Picture Palace, the Valley’s first movie theatre). It has plush quilted leather-backed lounge seating and bar tables topped with gold-trimmed marble. The restaurant proper has enormous windows looking out over Alfred and Brunswick streets, letting in plenty of natural light, and the bar has a darker, more intimate feel.
Popow’s brief was to create a modern Australian take on gastropub food. There's that a chicken parmigiana, done with prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella. There's also damper produced with milk stout from Sea Legs Brewing in Kangaroo Point, as well as a Hawaiian pizza with San Marzano tomato, double smoked ham and caramelised pineapple.
Drinks include a well-rounded wine list, plenty of tap beer and a lengthy cocktail selection that mixes classics with contemporary drinks.