It’s fair to say Si Paradiso has featured in plenty of our “best of” lists over the past couple of years, and we’re not ashamed to say it. The combined effort of Late Night Valentine’s Cale Mason and the crew behind Scarborough fave El Grotto, has made it a drinking and dining paradise for many since opening a couple of years ago.
It’s European-styled amphitheatre has proven an irresistible proposition for just about everyone, and this weekend they’ll be celebrating that fact with a huge three-day party to mark their 2nd birthday. Expect live music and DJs controlling the soundtrack while you indulge in their recently revamped menu, a couple of vinos and good times with ya pals.
You can check out the full event HERE, and read on below with part-owner Kane Hipper who looks back on the journey so far:
Congrats on reaching the terrible twos! We’ll get to the struggles of this year in a bit, but first can you take us back to the beginnings of Si, and what you wanted to achieve with the place?
Thank you! Anyone that has been to the venue, pre or post Si, particularly the outdoor amphitheatre, can attest to its unique layout and beauty. Vic Miraudo, the man responsible for first building that outdoor stage and amphitheatre years ago deserves serious praise, how lucky are we to have that in our lovely city of Perth. We wanted to emphasise that and utilise the space as best as we could by opening it up to allow for better flow, raising and expanding the floor and steps in the amphitheatre to make more room, introduce more light into the dining room and give the whole space a facelift to make it more attractive for guests throughout the day time and early evenings.
Our vision was to create an idyllic place to come drink, dine and dance all day, and all night, a paradise reminiscent of a European getaway. We built a kitchen, and rebuilt both the bars to allow for a proper dining experience, cocktails to be shaken or wine to be poured with fast exceptional service, whilst being able to kick back and take in a performance, or get involved on the dancefloor.
What have been some highlights for you and the team over the journey?
Seeing Paradiso evolve across all facets into its current form amidst all of the hurdles that have been thrown our way has been one big highlight! The ongoing love and support from everyone to assist us on that journey has been amazing! Being able to escape to Italy briefly last year for Cale’s wedding and explore some of the regions food, wine, culture and bringing that back with us has been a major highlight also.
We’re sure it’s not been without a few stressful moments, what have been some of the difficulties you’ve had to overcome over the journey?
Hospitality! There are always stressful moments day to day when you are trying to do something special! Issues with noise escaping our amphitheatre and how that has altered our business and vision, along with the time and money spent on sound attenuation trying to remedy that has been particularly stressful. Throw in COVID and the restrictions that we all have to deal with this year and it’s safe to say it’s been an eventful year or two!
In saying that, the future is bright, we have an incredible team and the staff culture is amazing. We are working through sound issues with residents and the council in a positive way, we survived COVID and figured out how to run our business more efficiently and stronger through that process. Our new dining room has been well received by new guests and local regulars, the food and service is at an all time high.
Speaking of COVID, what kind of things did Si Paradiso do to adapt over that period?
We tried to remain as positive and proactive as we could, we adapted to doing takeaway, which was a great experience flipping the business and introducing a whole new way of operating. It was a hell of a lot of hard work for negative return, though it allowed us to keep our heads above water. We still, along with all other venues, bar/restaurants/clubs etc. are restricted to half capacity. This has a huge impact on our turnover and we really hope the powers to be can see that keeping this measure in place is very detrimental to small business like ourselves. Not to mention it makes no sense when social distancing has been scrapped on public transport, or when tens of thousands can congregate at football matches, though a venue isn’t allowed an extra one hundred to two hundred people inside. If someone would like to explain that to me, please come down and lets discuss over a glass or two haha!
You and the team have now got two great Perth venues under your belt, what do you think are some of the reasons behind your (continued) success?
Hard work, passion, naïve belief and a constant state of inebriation.
Any plans for number 3 ;)?
There are a few projects in the mix, we are always thinking and playing with new ideas. Although it is very early days, at the moment we are focused on these two for an amazing summer ahead!
You’ve got the second birthday party this weekend, and you’ve just revamped the menu as well, what are you looking forward to over summer?
We do, and yes the menu has had a freshen up courtesy of the illustrious Paul Bentley, the food is tasting fucking incredible, the man’s a genius! This summer? Sunny afternoons in paradise, what better way to spend a Sunday than in the lush surrounds of the amphitheatre. We’ll be taking the food menu even further with Paul, lots of seafood, bringing snow crabs and rock lobsters back for summer, heaps more fun wines and a new cocktail list by the very talented Emma Crisp. Just working with our incredible team to have our best summer yet!