An iconic site on Beaufort Street, vacant for nearly two years, is set for a breath of fresh air that will bring a unique dining experience to Perth.
The Highgate venue operated for over 15 years as Jackson’s restaurant, with chef Neal Jackson helping to revolutionize dining in Perth and bring tasting to WA.
Jackson’s closed before the site reopened as St Michael’s in 2014. But that closed again in late 2019.
PerthNow can reveal that the venue is set to be renovated and opened as a joint venture between Hoodburger co-founder Matt Shaw and WA celebrity chef Jacob D’Vauz.
The friends aim to open the restaurant early next year, offering Cantonese cuisine over an open fire.
Mr Shaw burst onto the WA food scene with his brother Tom selling burgers in pop-up shops while studying after quitting a corporate job.
Hoodburger now has three stores, including one just around the corner on Beaufort Street in Inglewood.
Mr Shaw said he had wanted to team up with D’Vauz for years.
“We are now working with a team of passionate creatives from Perth to bring together the vision in terms of design and artwork,” he said.
Mr Shaw said it was “amazing” to be in the same place as Jackson.
“Jackson gave birth to the whole group of leaders in Perth who have gone on to do incredible things in the city and abroad,” he said.
“It’s interesting to see how Jackson sat in the market at the time and everything that’s happened on the Perth scene since then.
“It was such an iconic fine dining restaurant.”
There will be nothing like it in Perth.
D’Vauz has experience in Chinese cuisine and wood-fired meals.
“Being able to push the menu the way he wants and make food that’s close to his heart and his family is really important to him,” Shaw said.
“There will be nothing like it in Perth.”
Mr. Shaw hopes the company will help revitalize Beaufort Street.
“It was really sad to see the Strip go downhill. Ten years ago that was the place. And then it was the classic Perth scenario where fares drive out interesting operators,” he said .
“It seems like with the new developments on the Strip, some really cool places are popping up again and we’re really excited to be a part of them.”
The name of the new restaurant has not yet been revealed.
Mr. Shaw and D’Vauz had originally hoped to open the restaurant by Christmas, but hit a snag when Vincent was seeking city approval.
Site leasing agent Craig Boyanich told PerthNow that the city initially required new applicants to appoint a building surveyor to issue a new occupancy permit in order to obtain a liquor license.
Mr Boyanich said that due to current building standards this would have made the undertaking unworkable.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the City confirmed that it can now exercise its discretion on a case-by-case basis.
Mr Boyanich said he was glad the situation had been ‘resolved and looked into’ by the city, ‘it is still somewhat frustrating that this was not the outcome from the outset’.