Ovolo 1881 hotel in Darling Harbour has lured Justin North to mastermind its next venue.

Slated to open in a converted wool store at the hotel this July, Mister Percy is shaping up as an upmarket wine bar.

Having recently resurrected Hotel Centennial in Woollahra, former fine-dining chef North will be acting as culinary consigliere on the operation, with Luca Guiotto (A Tavola, Catalina) helping out as head chef. Taking inspiration from the bars along the Basque coastline, the menu at Mister Percy will spotlight bite-sized pintxos and share plates.

“We’re workshopping at the moment … looking at all those wonderful Mediterranean coastal towns for inspiration,” North tells Broadsheet. “We’re leading with that pintxos feel. Chris Morrison (ex-head sommelier at Guillaume at Bennelong) is working on a wine list to really take people on a journey with the food.”

With designers Luchetti Krelle behind the interior, the 45-seater will draw heavily on the building’s history by integrating heritage beams and brickwork with clever lighting and vintage furniture. “The space really has the most amazing bones,” says North. “Rachel [Luchetti] has a real knack for making beautiful spaces even more beautiful.”

North says the name pays homage to one of the previous inhabitants, Percy Ewert. “We looked into the history of the place and discovered this cool character – Percy. He was a wool classer there a lifetime ago. He’s even engraved his name into one of the old sandstone blocks.”

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Mister Percy is slated to open between late-July and early-August.

This article was updated on June 15, 20218.