THE Bayswater town centre could gain its first boutique wine store and small bar at a 100-year-old heritage site if the owners obtain approvals from Bayswater council and the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor.
Mt Lawley couple and co-owners of 13 King William Street Matt Hayes and Simone Robseon submitted an application for proposed alterations and change of use to a boutique wine store and a cafe and small bar, which went out for public comment until October 31.
The proposed store will hold wine education and event nights, including serving of alcohol for events and tastings, will be open from 9am-9pm on Wednesday and 9am-11pm from Thursday to Sunday and have two staff members.
The proposed cafe and small bar will serve coffee and snack food during the day, with the ability to serve alcohol and bar snacks, and operate as a small bar and hire two to three staff members.
Bayswater mayor Dan Bull said the City received 24 submissions and the majority were supportive of the application, which will be considered by council at its December 5 committee meeting.
Ms Robeson, who is an architect, said the couple bought the property last year and decided against developing high rise apartments in light of the recent market trends.
She said the application for a tavern licence for the wine store was pending approval.
Mr Hayes said he was passionate about wine and the store’s focus would be on boutique, sustainable and affordable wine.
“Knowing that the Bayswater community is fully behind the project and making it a more lively zone is exciting,” he said.
“Even though we have got sommeliers running it, it is going to be unpretentious and approachable.”
Mr Hayes said the site was originally owned by the Smart family and then sold to the Marshall family, which included former Bayswater councillor and Australian Sporting Hall of Fame billiard champion Bob Marshall.
Community group Baysie Rollers committee member Kylie Elsegood-Smith said the group’s 2015 community survey found people wanted a small bar in Bayswater.
“Currently, the town centre is very quiet after 4pm in the afternoon,” she said.
“We believe that well-managed premises that are open in the town centre after normal business hours will add not only to the vibrancy of the town centre but may also improve safety to the town centre also with more people in the area at night, with more ‘eyes on the street’.”
Fellow community group Future Bayswater chairperson Paul Shanahan said the group was “right behind” the proposed small bar.
“We are really rapt that someone is going to take a punt on that town centre and do something like that,” he said.
“Personally, I have no problems with a wine store because it will add to the businesses in the area and as long as it can coexist with Liquorland, I’d be really pleased with it.”