Restaurateurs Michael Bacash and Fiona Perkins of South Yarra’s Bacash have taken the keys to a restaurant in a leafy pocket of Launceston, apparently without any firm plans to open a restaurant there.
“We went to the auction, got carried away and we bought it,” says Bacash.
The couple parted with $850,000 for the property on Charles Street, a hot pocket of Launceston that’s home to wine bar Havilah and Mediterranean bistro Geronimo. Bacash and Perkins walk past the building every day whenever they visit Launceston, where Perkins grew up and where they bought a house 10 years ago.
He says they were drawn to the double-fronted facade, featuring colonial-style windows, and the location opposite Princes Square, a similar aspect to Bacash in South Yarra, which faces the Royal Botanic Gardens.
“Some buildings should just be restaurants,” says Bacash. “Maybe this one will be.”
“It’s a great building, so we’re thinking it should have the best restaurant in Launceston in it.”
However, he and Perkins, who have run Bacash for 21 years in Melbourne, are not planning to operate the restaurant themselves. Or at least not anytime soon.
Bacash says they are not ready to slow down or relocate from Melbourne.
“We wonder what would happen to us if we ever stopped running a restaurant like Bacash,” he says.
The pair would like to find a chef and up-and-coming front-of-house professional to run the two-storey Charles Street site as a wine bar or restaurant. The floor plan is approximately 170 square metres.
They plan to spend January getting to know the area and the building’s interiors, which will need some serious TLC.
Bacash earned another hat in The Age Good Food Guide this year for its top-shelf treatment of seafood, from fish and chips to spanner crab rarebit on crumpets, served from a dress circle location in South Yarra.