Christian Simone opened popular hole-in-the-wall coffee joint Boo Espresso in 2015 after a stint as Business Development Manager for Northbridge Coffee Roasters. Four years on, the dog-friendly spot is known as much for its toasties, smoothies and skull-shaped mugs as its coffee. Deciding it was time for another venture, Simone opened Boo Too on Bulwer Street, which offers all-day brunch and night-time pizza.
“When I decided to expand the Boo brand I didn’t want to open another window because I was never going to be that lucky again,” says Simone. “As soon as I saw this building I fell in love with it. It’s a corner store on a busy street next to Hyde Park, and just 100-something metres away from the window.”
Boo Too occupies the premises left behind by Le Papillon patisserie, and required significant refurbishment as the previous tenants lived at the rear. A large combination gas and woodfired pizza oven dominates the space.
“The place was very dated,” says Simone. “The tiles were from the 1960s, which I wanted to keep, but they were orange and didn’t fit the brand. We refinished all the floors and painted all the walls. We kept the structure but extended the rooms.”
Simone describes Boo’s pizza style as a hybrid of Neapolitan and Roman: thin and crisp, but with a soft crust. A “mother yeast” was started the day Boo Too opened and will be used throughout the restaurant’s life.
The pizza menu is split into red and white bases, with familiar toppings arranged in some unfamiliar combinations. You can get a Margherita, but there are also atypical options like the “Donnie Brasco”, featuring asparagus, rocket, crushed pistachios and mortadella. When it comes to flavours, Simone admits he likes to experiment.
“You can order the traditional pizzas you get everywhere else,” he says. “If you want four seasons or capricciosa we can do it. Everyone is doing good pizza, but we wanted to do it a little bit differently. We get gourmet ingredients, put them together, see what tastes best and go with that.”
The “Boo Balls” (basically balls of fried cheese, something we don’t have enough of in Perth) are an essential order, served as a pizza topping or in a rich tomato sauce with toast.
Breakfast is served until 2.30pm daily, and coffee and cake are available all day. The breakfast menu is still in development, but the current draft includes everything from pancakes to slow-cooked eggs in a red capsicum and San Marzano tomato sauce. Pizza service starts at 5.30pm.
Future plans include a pet-friendly zone with a takeaway window at the back of the cafe, complete with “puppacinos” and dog treats.
“It’s going to be very similar to Boo, where people can come with their pets,” says Simone. “We’re going to put a tree there for a casual vibe. Anyone can come from Hyde Park, sit there and chill.”
Like the original, Boo Too brews coffee from Northbridge Coffee Roasters. And yes, they serve it at night.
274 Bulwer Street, Perth