If good things come to those who wait, then we must really be in for something special when Merivale finally unveils Coogee Pavilion’s eagerly anticipated middle floor next month. It’s been literally years in the making, and while we still don’t know the fine print, the hospitality powerhouse announced early this morning that the expansive mezzanine will be home to not one, but three different venues.
Leading the charge is Mimi’s, a restaurant named after Merivale CEO Justin and his sister (and design guru) Bettina Hemmes’ mother, Merivale herself. The dining room will capitalise on the building's giant arched windows and ocean views with a cool, coastal interior scheme matched by a pared-back menu by executive chef Jordan Toft (Bert's) that showcases skilfully handled produce at its finest.
“Mimi’s is all about capturing that moment where the world seems to stop,” says Toft. “What you order from the menu is exactly what you see on the plate. No smoke, no mirrors, no pomp.”
Will’s, the restaurant’s accompanying cocktail bar, takes similar cues – not only in name (William was the birth name of Justin and Bettina’s father, Mr John), but also in terms of laid back sophistication, channelling the Italian coastline in look and feel.
Lastly, there’s Una Más, Coogee’s answer to a classic tapas bar and the most casual of the trio. They’re aiming for a “walk off the beach” vibe here, with Spanish and Australian influences in the air – think oysters shucked to order, seafood straight off the plancha and bracingly cold vermouth to chase it all.
Further details will be announced in early 2020, but after five years of standing by, we’ll take whatever we can get – and expect very big things while we wait a little longer.
Keen for a coastal stroll in the meantime? Check our list of Sydney’s best walks.