Big changes are sweeping through Perth's food and beverage market with smaller outlets benefiting from the influx of city workers and bigger newly opened restaurants taking out sizeable chunks of CBD retail space.
Lease Equity managing director Jim Tsagalis said the strong demand for food and beverage sites in Perth contrasted strongly with weaker demand in other markets.
"With our oil, mining and gas projects, a CBD presentation on WA's economy is very com-pelling for restaurant operators," he said.
In addition to a CBD market where most office towers are fully leased, Mr Tsagalis said plans for big real estate projects including Elizabeth Quay, the arrival of more global players in Perth and changes to liquor licensing laws had also made small bars and restaurant-bar combinations more viable.
The arrival of five new venues where leases were negotiated by Lease Equity - The Heritage Brasserie Bar & Boardroom , the Trustee Bar and Bistro and the opening soon of venues in the Print Hall, Jamie's Italian and The Durack have absorbed 3500sqm retail space.
"In total we have seen 6000sqm to 7000sqm of new food and beverage operators open in the city in recent months," Mr Tsagalis said.
Jamie's Italian in Perth will be the second outlet for Australia.
"Jamie Oliver's team extensively reviewed population forecasts, visitations to the CBD and eating habits before they made the decision to open here," Mr Tsagalis said. "There was certainly an expectation that Perth was ready and that a pent-up demand for more quality food outlets existed."
Traditional CBD food and beverage leasing has focused on Monday to Friday venues but the newer arrivals are helping to change the city's curfews.
"Restaurants in the 350sqm to 400sqm range that are pitched at day, night and weekend traffic are adding amenity," Mr Tsagalis said.
Lease Equity said the shortage of suitable venues and strong demand for new sites has driven up rents and in its latest research, CBRE said the food and beverage sectors were still active in Perth's leasing market and had been a beneficiary of the tight CBD office market.
Source: The West Australian