You wouldn't expect a licensed restaurant to send you elsewhere to buy your booze, but that’s exactly what's happening on Enmore Road at the moment. A new partnership between local favourites Hartsyard and P&V Merchants is bringing together a few of the things Newtown does best: good food, natural wine and a sense of community.
How it works is every Wednesday Hartsyard encourages diners to pick up a bottle of wine from P&V and take it to the restaurant. Corkage is just $8 and if you mention where you bought the wine, it’ll throw in a free snack. “People have really taken advantage of it and are enhancing their wine experience,” says Bennie. “They’re getting a fine-tuned recommendation, not just grabbing any bottle from the cellar.” It’s called Grab and Go, Go and Grab,
The story starts more than 20 years ago with a teenage friendship between Naomi Hart and twin brothers Marc and Andrew Bennie. When Hart and husband Greg Llewellyn were launching their Hartsyard restaurant in 2012, she remembered her old friends had a brother who knew a thing or two about wine: Mike Bennie. “We got together and I helped them with shaping the culture around their list for their opening, did some staff trainings, dropped in with winemakers, tasted their food for synchronising with wines,” says Bennie.
The group became friends as well. “We ate together, we drank together; we were there for openings and births and happiness that ensued from this amazing fate and destiny.”
Late last year Bennie opened his own venue, bottle shop P&V Merchants, across the road from Hartsyard. “We were of a mind that our association should continue, so we engineered this idea to do a BYO night,” says Bennie.
Bennie believes the partnership is emblematic of what Newtown stands for.
“We all want to help each other out. It’s not all about business,” says Bennie. “I like the idea of connecting people through the neighbourhood and creating community. It’s about enhancing what we’re doing through like-mindedness, rather than competing.”
Grab and Go, Go and Grab happens every Wednesday night between Hartsyard and P&V Merchants.