“All-day drink, dine and dance.”
That’s the ethos behind Si Paradiso, the new joint Beaufort Street venture from the team behind Scarborough Mexican cantina El Grotto, and creative director Cale Mason, one of the partners behind Highgate’s recently shuttered Late Night Valentine.
Taking inspiration from European summer vacations and The Dolphins (Sydney), Da Marias and Motel Mexicolas (Bali) of the world, Si Paradiso will blur and redraw the lines between restaurant, bar, club and Instagrammer’s paradise. On weekends, food and drink will be available from lunch till late with the music changing in style (and one suspects volume) through the day. Kane Hipper, one of the directors at El Grotto, says he’s looking forward to bringing a different take on Italian eating, drinking and good living to Beaufort Street.
“People from Perth go to Europe and Bali and have that all-day experience where they nestle in somewhere for lunch, eat some food, have some drinks and then it rolls into a party,” says Hipper who describes Si Paradiso as a “nuovo Italo-Australian” venue. “People understand that space and that kind of offering but I don’t think there’s a place in Perth that does that.”
For Mason, Si Paradiso is an opportunity for him to finish what he started when he opened Late Night Valentine three years ago (Si Paradiso is taking over the former Late Night Valentine site). Gone is the former’s carpeting and moody, Palm Springs-inspired aesthetic: in their place, parquetry flooring, mosaic tiling, stained-glass and louvred windows that verily whisper retro Italian trattoria.
The outdoor area is being reborn as – to put it in Mason’s words – “the Italian amphitheatre of your dreams” complete with bright beach umbrellas, plenty of tiling and even more greenery. Al fresco eating and drinking aside, the outdoor space and stage will be used to host music events, movie screenings, plays and live performances.
“It’s such an incredible space, there’s nowhere else in Perth like this,” says Hipper waving his arm across the amphitheatre. “Late Night Valentine was an amazing night club, but it could also be an amazing day space.”
To eat, expect a tight edit of punchy Italian cooking reimagined through a West Australian lens: think fritto misto (a mixed fry) starring good WA seafood and arrosticini, the famous grilled lamb skewers of Abruzzo. Ryan Chu of Mount Lawley’s Chu Bakery has collaborated with Si Paradiso on its bread and pizza and the kitchen will stay open till close. As it did at Late Night Valentine, sharp cocktails and natural and minimal-intervention wines will feature on the drinks list.
“The food is very much about recognising tradition but creating our own version of it,” says Mason. “We’re not trying to recreate pizza that’s in Napoli or Rome. It’s just going to be our take on all those influences and all our travels to create something that works in this space.”
The music, meanwhile, will be integral to Si Paradiso’s offering. A house band – uniforms and all! – is being formed to play live jazz and bossa nova on weekends and the venue will employ a dedicated bookings team. The Basement, meanwhile, will operate as a standalone venue and continue to play host to underground electronic music nights.
Si Paradiso (446 Beaufort Street, Highgate) opens on October 5.