The Swillhouse Group (Shady Pines, Baxter Inn, Frankie's Pizza) has joined forces with 10 William Street’s main man Dan Pepperell for a new CBD venture. “We’re trying to create the classic Euro restaurant you wish you stumbled across on holidays last year. Good food, service and hootch,” says Swillhouse’s Anton Forte.
The 150-seater venue, named Hubert, will open in the old Celestial Chinese Restaurant site on Bligh Street. While Forte and the Swillhouse team will handle the drinks and bar, Pepperell will lead the kitchen. Pepperell, who’s currently in NYC for both R&D and R&R, says he’s always loved the Swillhouse venues and couldn’t turn down an offer to work with them.
When pressed for some juice about what he’ll be serving he jokes about all-you-can-eat fries and hints at “Vinaigrette, mud crab, lots of chervil and steak tartare. Maybe.” Forte says they want to keep things classically European. “We want to make sure to stay true to the core and heritage of the dish and not get too flouncy. So expect a plate of food, not smears and crumbs.”
Forte, who’s joined in the Hubert venture by business partner Jason Scott and his brother Stefan, says the design and fit out will match the classic style of food they’re serving. “In the beaten down village style. Lots of old timber and worn tables as opposed to a brasserie with marble, brass and patina mirrors.” There will be be two bars, “One, a large sit-at counter, and the other a smaller holding bar,” he says.
Hubert will open on Bligh Street in the CBD in January, 2016.