TAKE ME TO THE RIVER
Beaumonde Catering is on point at Perth’s newest hospitality precinct.
Story: Jen Temm
Bar Images: Fine-Line Photography
Beaumonde On The Point
306 Riverside Drive, East Perth WA
(08) 9218 8088 or www.thepointbarandgrill.com.au
Jutting 30m over the Swan River with spectacular sunset views at Perth’s eastern gateway, On The Point is Western Australia’s newest hospitality district and the culmination of a 30-year development saga.
First proposed in the 1980s by Palmers Wines founders Stephen and Helen Palmer, the Point Fraser development was tied up in red tape for three decades before final plans were given the go-ahead by the City of Perth with construction beginning in 2014. Collectively, venues in the completed precinct will total more than 5000sqm, with an end value estimated at $50m.
FIRST IN, BEST DRESSED
The first tenants to open and the heart of the purpose-built waterside hub are Beaumonde On The Point, a state-of-the-art multipurpose function centre, and The Point Bar & Grill, launched just in time for Christmas last year after a tight 12-week fitout. Owned and run by current WA Corporate Caterer of the Year, Beaumonde Catering, led by managing director Brian Leyden, the $5m venue covers a 2000sqm space and offers wide open spaces bathed in natural light with uninterrupted views of Perth’s foreshore.
“We’ve gone for a very European, high-end design,” explains Leyden. “We were committed to getting something a bit different to what you see around Perth, we didn’t want just another pub. If we were going to spend that sort of money we wanted to make sure it was going to be right; we wanted a sophisticated, relaxed atmosphere with a big lounge and bar, balconies overlooking the river, booth seating and a very good quality food service.”
Leyden brought in interior designers Webb Plus to develop the interior of the function centre and bar, with Perth’s Gervas Design and builder Ferguson Corporation completing the build onsite. With the views providing much of the wow factor, the design focussed on developing a flow through the space.
“The building itself is a very strong steel structure that’s glazed all the way around,” says Webb Plus design director Adrian Downes. “There’s no real walls as such, and with the outlook over the river and the terrace on the east side it was really just about getting the flow from indoors to outdoors as unrestricted as possible.”
In its largest configuration the function centre holds 1000 in cocktail mode or 500 seated. Different room configurations allow for smaller functions with classroom capacity for 600 guests at conferences and meetings, and boardroom capacity for 60.
With most of the walls fully glazed and the need to cope with different sized groups, the main design feature in the function space is the feature ceiling, which borrows elements from Webb Plus’s striking geometric design used in Melbourne’s Sofitel On Collins function centre.
“They were very keen to see some of that brought in,” Downes says. “It’s actually a very simple triangulated series of frames with LED pendant lighting that throws light up onto a painted metallic surface that can be colour-changed for themed events. It’s a grid structure so they can hang decorative elements or banners off the track between, and they can move things around for different functions.
“The ceiling is really what ties the whole space together and gives an element of grandeur, that wow factor, otherwise it’s just a big box. The effect of the lit geometric boxes is that you’re not quite sure where the ceiling finishes, it just blurs that.”
For the function space AV, versatility was key to cater for everything from weddings and private functions to corporate conferences and meetings in different room configurations, with a no-expense spared approach.
“There’s no point taking shortcuts,” Leyden says. “We’ve got the latest technology in lighting, sound systems, everything we wanted. What stands out is the multifunctionality: it can switch into theatre mode very easily, everything is remote controlled, we’ve got colour-changing lighting systems so we can theme the ceiling, we have table spotting technology with moving lights — everything on the wishlist was installed.”
Leyden commissioned PAV – Install for an end-to-end service, designing the AV systems from the ground up, installing the equipment and managing it in-house, working closely with PAV installations manager Carl Blewett and suppliers to ensure the best possible outcomes.
The extensive equipment list includes 3 x Panasonic 7000-lumen projectors with 150-inch Screen Technics motorised screens, Shure ULX-D radio microphones, Electrovoice amplification, a GrandMA on PC for full lighting control and networked digital signage using LG commercial displays.
One highlight of the design is the complement of 52 x MH6 Martin moving head lighting fixtures used as table spots and for effects. Being able to offer table spots for a function has traditionally been the preserve of large, well-resourced ballrooms, and has been a real point of difference for the casinos and exhibition centres. But Martin’s well-priced MH6 brings professional looking individual table spots into the realms of the financially possible.
For that decorative feature ceiling, 26 x SoundTube RS600i pendant speakers hang inconspicuously between the pendant lights for even coverage and the best possible speech and music intelligibility throughout the expansive space. Control is provided by newly released RTI 10-inch touchscreens located at the rear of each of the function spaces to easily manage the audio systems, house and feature lighting, video systems and blinds.
The bar area further packs a large-format ‘hero’ display: a 3.9mm pixel-pitch high-definition LED screen (2.5m x 1.5m) on top of a complement of (comparatively) smaller LG commercial displays. A full Electrovoice audio solution includes 11 x ZX1 loudspeakers, 8 x EViD 4.2 surfacemount loudspeakers, and 4 x 12-inch ceiling mounted subwoofers, all powered by Electrovoice amplification. Touchscreen control allows for ease of setup and adjustment of AV configurations.
“It’s a very good standard of audio and video throughout,” Blewett says. “It’s all equipment we’ve used at other venues from regular suppliers so everything has been tried and tested, except for the SoundTube pendant speakers which were just the right speaker for that purpose.”
The design brief for the bar space was for an upmarket feel to cater for a slightly more mature, 30-plus demographic: “We wanted it to be smart and sophisticated but not in a stuffy way, it had to be very relaxed,” Downes says.
“Dealing with such an open structure, we didn’t want to enclose it with anything too solid. It’s all about layering, from the bar space to the transitional space to the external areas, and filtering the views without enclosing the space as well.”
Pull-out pleated awnings extend the indoor/outdoor area, and circular booths in lightweight cage-like structures create subspaces that can be rented out to groups without restricting the views by day. By night, the booths can be curtained off for privacy with LED strips that light up the fabric to create glowing private islands.
With Beaumonde Catering well settled in, other new tenants are due to land shortly, including the much anticipated Balinese bar and restaurant Ku De Ta, and Chinese restaurant 8 On The Point. Another three eateries are due to open in coming months along with more casual cafes and bars.
The entertainment hub continues the eastward reorientation of Perth’s leisure scene spurred by the new football stadium at Burswood, the expansion of Crown Casino and other proposed developments. A $54m footbridge linking East Perth to Burswood will give pedestrians and cyclists direct access from Perth Stadium to On The Point and its generous car park, and is expected to be used by some 14,000 sports fans on match days.
“It is pretty unusual for a private catering business to so something of this scale,” says Leyden. “We’re only a small organisation; we’re very careful in what we do, and we know we’ve got a very good long term lease and this business will be a solid earner.”
Webb Plus: (03) 9468 2570 or www.webbplus.com.au
PAV: (08) 9378 0888 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show Technology (Martin, MA Lighting): 02 9748 1122 or www.showtech.com.au
NAS (SoundTube pendant speakers): 1800 441 440 or
Bosch (Electrovoice): 1300 026 724 or