Since opening in 1908, the Moana Chambers building has seen some colourful times. Over the years, it has housed everything from cafes and co-working spaces (hi Moana Coffee) to glamorous dinner and dance venues (hi Club Cabarita) as well as the nationally-celebrated Moana Cafe & Dining Rooms, one described as “the largest and best-appointed in Australia”. Now, architecture graduate and hospitality first-timer Cheyne Buczek has an ambitious plan to reintroduce some glamour back to this Heritage-listed address.
Enter Moana Hall, the new cafe and events space due to open this month after an overhaul by Rezen Studios, Cusp Design Studios and Assemble WA.
“The Moana Hall project became a dream of mine as soon as I found out about the space opening up,” says Buczek. “To develop a beautiful heritage space into a thriving hospitality venue is just so exciting.”
Accessible from Hay Street via the building’s original grand staircase, Moana Hall will be the city’s only first-floor venue with a balcony overlooking shoppers below. The space features heritage ceilings, restored floorboards as well as the all-important Federation Free Classical arched windows. Buczek’s more recent addition, a 10-metre long iron bar and drinks shelf, is a nod to the building’s lavish past. Backlit with a light installation designed to mimic flowing water, it’s a tribute to the Polynesian roots of the word moana, meaning ocean. The long, open-air balcony is also a show-stopper.
The venue will open Monday to Friday and is available to hire for weddings and events seven days. Buczek, who also runs an events production company, plans to host jazz nights and other events in the space. The coffee will be supplied by Margaret River Roasting Co, Ox Robbit will serve sweet treats and simple takeaway food will be available.
Moana Hall is at 618 Hay Street, Perth and will open later in May. The cafe is open 7am to 3pm Monday to Friday