For six years, Northbridge wine bar No Mafia has championed Sicilian nero d’avola, Sardinian vermentino, the joys of aperitivi, and southern Italian eating and drinking culture more broadly. For six years, No Mafia owners Emma Ferguson and Dan Morris have turned away guests gunning for a prime-time seating at their 50-person wine bar.
“Every Friday and Saturday night, we’d get [groups of] 10, 12 and 15 trying to book, but we just didn’t have the space for them,” says Morris, who also co-owns fine diner Balthazar and wine bar Los Bravos with Ferguson.
With No Mafia’s lease ending and Ferguson and Morris recently becoming parents, the couple felt the time was right to consolidate – so they’ve decided to reopen No Mafia in the larger Los Bravos space. (Both venues have remain closed since the Covid-19 restrictions were wound back in May.)
In addition to an increased capacity – between the dining room, bar and patio, the new No Mafia will be able to accommodate up to 120 guests – the move will also allow Ferguson and Morris to stretch their legs in terms of the menu. The wine list will be less rigid in its programming and will now include more drops from central and northern Italy (perfumed nebbiolo and tangy barbera d’asti from Piedmont, say). Antipasti items will still be offered, but the new No Mafia menu will add house-made pasta into the mix. (As we speak, the new Bottene pasta machine is en route from Italy to Perth.)
“We’ve always wanted to do pasta but it hasn’t really worked in the space for us,” says Morris. “With Covid, maybe shared meals might not be what everyone wants to do straight away.”
To mark the transition from Los Bravos to No Mafia, colourful new murals will be painted on the facade and an outdoor spritz garden will also be opened. Banquettes from the original No Mafia have also been transplanted to the new site.