Perth venues Gangemi's Fine Wines & Food and the Comedy Lounge awarded City of Perth redevelopment grant

Perth venues Gangemi’s Fine Wines & Food and the Comedy Lounge awarded City of Perth redevelopment grant

Two Perth businesses are sprucing up their shopfronts with help from the City of Perth.

West Perth’s Gangemi’s Fine Wines & Food and the Comedy Lounge on Murray Street are two of several Perth businesses which have been awarded City of Perth business improvement grants this financial year.

Gangemi’s owners Edward Johnson and Tobias Goyder-Ewan told Perth Now this week the $20,000 grant would go towards a major redevelopment of the well-known corner bottle shop and liquor store on Hay Street.

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The duo said they believed their business was the first metropolitan standalone liquor store to trade in Perth, having been open since 1911.

Camera IconCo-owners Tobias Goyder-Ewan and Edward Johnson, Gangemi’s Fine Wines. Credit: Andrew Richie/Perth Now

The historic establishment will receive an interior facelift to turn it into an 80-person small bar with indoor dining, an alfresco area and European style charcuterie food on offer. Drinks will be served until 10pm.

The business will also build a coffee window which will be open from 7am.

“We have been liquor retail and wine retail and we’re going to be wine retail and liquor retail-focused with the addition of being able to sit down and have a glass of wine on top, and it extends that ‘try before you buy ‘ethos,” Mr Johnson said.

“We are changing it from just retail to being an on and off premise consumption and a place for the community.”

Artist impression of the new bar at Gangemi's Fine Wines & Food during the evening.
Camera IconArtist impression of the new bar at Gangemi’s Fine Wines & Food during the evening. Credit: Gangemi’s Fine Wines and Food

Mr Johnson said the grant would go towards paying for the “base build”, including the construction of toilets, amenities and access for people with a disability.

Re-development of the site is set to start as soon as next week, with the duo aiming to not close the store during construction and have the additions ready by October.

“You can have a chat to us, you can have a sit down, we can talk about the wine if people are interested in that,” Mr Johnson said.

“Or they can just have a place to hang out, eat some bread and cheese and have a glass of wine.”

In the CBD, the Comedy Lounge exterior and laneway is set for a facelift.

“Overall we expect the exterior improvements to increase Comedy Lounge’s public awareness and organic traffic,” business development and marketing director Jack McAllister said.

“It’s amazing how many people are unaware Perth has its very own purpose-built comedy club, so hopefully this will help get the word out there.”

Jack McAllister (event organiser) Sunday Singles at the Comedy Lounge will be launching as a weekly Sunday event for Perth singles.  Andrew Richie
Camera IconJack McAllister (event organiser) Sunday Singles at the Comedy Lounge will be launching as a weekly Sunday event for Perth singles. Andrew Richie Credit: Andrew Richie/Community News

The team behind the establishment are researching the possibility of installing 3D projectors which would display the venue’s line-ups and a promotional video.

Mr McAllister said designs were being drafted for the new laneway street art, which would include a portrait of the greatest comedians of all time.

“We’re in a great location where we get a lot of daily traffic passing the venue,” he said.

“It’s one aspect of advertising that we haven’t utilized yet — we want to be noticed as people pass our venue.

“First impressions count and at the moment the look of the building and laneway does not match the quality of entertainment we’re providing.

“The upgrades will help convey to customers that it’s a high-quality establishment with world-class live entertainment.”

Mr McAllister said the $12,950 grant would go towards the works but the upgrade would cost “significantly more”.

“The last few years for businesses have been a rollercoaster, so it’s good to know the government is showing its support,” he said.

“We haven’t made any significant or noticeable upgrades for about three years now, so we are well overdue for a makeover.

“All our recent major upgrades have been interior, which has been money well spent, but it’s time we improve the outside.”

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