Interior Design: dinapoli Group
Builder: North Constructions
Kitchen/bar/services area: Austmont catering equipment
Bar flooring: Altro KR‐12‐30, Monsoon Stone Bench top: Grain Imperiale, Supplied by Stone Italiana
Stonework: Stoneworld International
Timber Panels: OSB Timber Sheets, supplied by Gunnersons
“Drink better wine” is a bold statement that emblazons the street corner of Miller and Berry streets in North Sydney, and the owners behind this new venue is the team David Cochran, Ben Ryan and Julian Gutierrez. They have gone about crafting their vision of a multi‐purpose space incorporating a wine cellar/wine bar/café and gourmet deli.
The owners all come from the wine business, the former NSC was a smaller hole‐in‐the‐wall shop a little further down Miller St, they’d operated there successfully for over eight years, then happened upon the new site and it’s corner and more exposed location by chance, the rest as they say, is history… The venue has given North Sydney workers and residents alike a new option for fine food and drink. Gutierrez explains their initial ambition for the space, “we knew that legally it would be very difficult to be pouring wine in the same space as having a bottle shop, but we’d always dreamed of having a wine bar, café and deli as well as our wine shop – such things are de rigeur in our favourite cities overseas, we saw the space and gave it a go”.
Cochran, Ryan & Gutierrez employed designers and interior architects the dinapoli Group to help bring their vision to life, with a brief of “don’t over design!”, they wanted the space to feel lived in, relaxed and comfortable. The dinapoli Group, previously of Favela nightclub in the ‘Cross, went about the challenge of fusing a wine cellars with a wine bar, gourmet café and deli and the challenge of one not dominating the other, all had to be harmonious. Creative Director Anna di Napoli explains the hope was to “design a venue that was not to look like a typical cellar, bar, café or deli. It was to present a new form, unique and independent of any preconceived notions”. The owners had wanted the design to not overtake the main premise of the venue, being that of fine wine, gourmet food and coffee –the design was to be complimentary to the main purpose of the business. One of the main challenges cites di Napoli, was “it was important that the liquor aspect of the cellar and bar did not dominate the space creating a backdrop that was not suitale for customers who simply wanted a casual coffee or to do a spot of shopping in the gourmet deli”. It was also hoped that the venue was to be used to host wine tastings seminars and private events in the bar, therefore the space had to be operationally flexible and the aesthetics carefully managed.
The colour theme throughout the venue was very deliberate, dark grey charcoals, black stone and soft timbers, large columns that scatter the venue are also burgundy red to symbolise the great wine of notoriety.
The semi‐open plan kitchen provides a little theatre to the casual diners passing by. The bar top itself is a heavy black Italian charcoal stone, while the slanted
rectified from recycled timber, most commonly the type found to enclose European construction sites, di Napoli explains, “I discovered it when travelling and fell in love with the texture and surface of the material, and wanted to use it in a setting that would elevate it from being a cheap disposable material to a material of value”. The form of the bar is designed with a geometric and deconstructed theme. The bar, back bar and floating ceiling all follow the same angular line. From every view point in the bar takes on a new form .The scattered communal and single tables of industrial metal and timber are purposeful to again prosper the flexibility of the enue and allow it to be transformed to meet whatever needs may arise. Their material choice was also intentional to “embody the contemporary yet classical origins associated with cellars and gourmet food”, claims di Napoli.
The dinapoli Group have fused successfully versatility and functionality in a space, creating an area with a purpose, where it’s not all about the buying of the wine but also lending suggestion to what pairs well with it. The choice of materials was deliberate and inspiration was sought around the theme of the origins of fine wine. We found inspiration in the origins and traditions of wine and sourced materials and textures that represented indulgence yet lso the rawness of a traditional European cellar or vineyard.
A low‐level and unimposing natural wall of soft timber divides the two succinct areas as you enter, cellars to the left, a modern Australian/european menu on offer to the right.
The venue is also complimented by substantial outdoor seating and together with the floor to ceiling windows that span the curv of the corner location, provide the perfect vantage point.
In their opening six months the team behind NSC has tried hard to ensure their operation attracts and is applicable to the manydifferent types of customer.
The all day opening hours and flexible use of the space mean an ever changing customer base is possible coming through the doos. The customer varies according to the time of day and week. There are plenty of corporate customers during daylight hours in the working week, in the evenings and at weekends there is a mix of couples, families, business functions and groups of friends out for a good food and wine experience.
The NSC project is a unique concept for Sydney and one which has given an admittedly lethargic area of North Sydney a boost of onfidence in its stride, the new North Sydney Cellars certainly lifts the standards in the use of a space for many means.