James Bradey and Warren Burns, directors of award-winning venues The Wild Rover (Surry Hills), Grandma’s (Surry Hills), Wilhelmina’s and Burgerhood (Balmain) have relaunched as Liquid & Larder – formerly 8 Hospitality.
The hospitality group was founded 10 years ago by business partners and childhood friends Bradey and Burns; the rebrand reflects the group’s expanding focus beyond bars and restaurants and into the retail world.
It also precedes the opening of Liquid & Larder’s first multi-concept restaurant, bar and wine shop, Bistecca, which will open in early July. Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, Bradey and Burns are indulging their love of Italian food and wine with the new venue, while focusing on one core ingredient, Tuscany’s revered steak: bistecca alla Fiorentina.
According to Bradey, Bistecca reflects a new stage in the progression of the group and the people who run it.
“We wanted a broader, more transferable brand identity as we move into restaurants and retail,” he says. “When we opened Grandma’s we were into rum and cocktails and having fun. Then we switched to stiff whiskies, craft beer and pubs with The Wild Rover, and relaxed neighbourhood wine bars with Wilhelmina’s.
At Bistecca, we are moving into new territory with a restaurant concept and retail offering but great service will always be at the heart of whatever we do.”
The restaurant will feature an extensive list of Italian wines and classic cocktails, housed in a Tom Mark Henry-designed, heritage-front building on Bridge St. A wine retail offering will follow once the restaurant and bar get off the ground.
Prior to setting up shop together, the pair held senior management roles in award-winning London bars such as Trailer Happiness and Milk & Honey, and at a string of Sydney’s top venues including Coast, Bel Mondo and the Piano Room.
“We got the hospitality bug while learning what the industry was all about,” says Bradey. “Work hard, play harder but most importantly we realised that service is what really matters and what sets you apart.”