Restaurateur Nic Trimboli and property developer Adrian Fini know a thing or two about renovating.
From rebooting former auto workshops into cafes – here’s looking at you, Gordon Street Garage – to driving the ambitious State Buildings project in the CBD, the duo boast an enviable track record when it comes to upcycling forgotten buildings. For their next venture, the Little Creatures founders are turning their attention to the Coogee Hotel, a historic pub and holiday destination in the southern corridor.
The as-yet-unnamed project will be an extension of Bread in Common, the pair’s popular Fremantle bakery-restaurant with a strong focus on seasonality and doing-it-yourself. Like the mothership, Coogee Hotel 2.0 will sell house-made smallgoods and pickles, only with one important difference: the kitchen will be working vegetables and fruits grown on the property’s own kitchen garden.
“Eating out of a garden, sitting by the sea, drinking really good booze with really good company: that’s pretty much the picture in my head,” says Scott Brannigan, head chef of Bread in Common and son of a New Zealand tomato farmer. Once the hotel is reopened, Brannigan will be dividing his time across both venues. “The garden will be the heart and soul of it. We’re going to grow as much as we can, compost everything and generally try to keep things as eco as possible.”
While the new venue won’t feature a wood-fired oven like the original, Brannigan and team plan to host tomato sauce, pickling and sausage making days. Also on the agenda: selling milk, eggs and other grocery basics. In other words: the new guys hope to be model neighbours.
“We want to do something that the community will love and want to belong to,” says Brannigan.
Just as long as the Coogee community is happy to hold, that is. Brannigan hopes the garden will be established in time to supply Bread in Common with springtime ingredients with work on the rest of the property to follow soon after.