Three new venues to open in January
Merivale will unveil Coogee Pavilion’s highly anticipated middle floor in January, when doors open to three new concepts at the beachside icon. A love letter to Coogee and one of Merivale’s most ambitious projects to date, the breathtaking middle level will be home to three unique venues – restaurant Mimi’s, cocktail bar Will’s and wine and tapas bar Una Más – that unite in a spectacular celebration of coastal dining.
Merivale’s custodianship of the historic Coogee Pavilion continues to bring new life to the building and firmly sets Coogee on the world stage. Whilst each middle floor concept is different and a destination in its own right, they are all shaped and guided by the cooking philosophy of Executive Chef Jordan Toft (Bert’s, Bar Topa) – a simple, yet special style of dining sparked by a Mediterranean heart, through an Australian lens.
Jordan Toft, Executive Chef, said: “This building is incredibly special to us, the community and to Sydney’s history. We felt a great responsibility to do it justice; taking our time to respectfully bring it to life and create experiences that are deserving of their location”.
“Each experience has its own special personality and identity, but all are inspired by the generosity of regional dining around the Med – those moments when your heart rate slows down, you’re completely at ease and filled with gratitude for life’s simple pleasures”.
Mimi’s is a restaurant fit for the vista, a place to settle in amid cool and calm interiors, fresh produce and great company. Surrounded by arched windows that frame the ocean and invite the sea breeze in, guests will be able to savour fresh seafood grilled on the Josper and crisp wine handpicked from over 500 bottles. Toft has applied a simplicity and constrained elegance to the menu, with skilful technique and craftsmanship delivering seafood, meat and vegetables at their very best.
“Mimi’s is all about capturing that moment where the world seems to stop, so we wanted to ensure an ease and elegance to the food. What you order from the menu is exactly what you see on the plate. No smoke, no mirrors, no pomp. Just great produce, an amazing setting and the slowing of time,” says Toft.
Will’s, the accompanying cocktail bar, is another escape from reality – a space that exudes charm with a lively energy and bon vivant attitude to drinking. There is a distinctly European feel to the drinks list, bringing together classic cues from the Italian coastline, with refreshing influences from the local environment.
Finally, Una Más is a local wine and tapas bar with a Mediterranean soul, a ‘walk off the beach’ local where guests stop by for a quick bite or get lost for a few hours. The menu is uncomplicated and recognisable, with influences from both Spain and Australia – “think a chilled Chablis or vermouth, with an oyster just shucked, seafood off the plancha and anchovies on fresh bread,” says Toft.
Coogee Pavilion’s ground-breaking middle floor has been five years in the making and is the product of an inspiring collaboration between Toft, Justin Hemmes and Merivale’s design team (Bettina Hemmes, Vince Alafaci and Caroline Choker of ACME, and stylist Amanda Talbot).
Mimi’s and Will’s are named after Hemmes’ parents, Merivale and Mr. John respectively. Mimi was Mr. John’s nickname for Merivale and William was Mr. John’s original birth name. They are also a nod to their grandmother, Wilhelmina Hemmes, and Wilhelmina Wylie, the daughter of champion swimmer and Coogee legend Henry Alexander Wylie who established Wylie’s Baths in 1907.
Further details on each venue will be announced in early 2020.
Coogee Pavilion Middle Floor
Opens January 2020
Image credit: Dimitri Tricolas