SOME people spoil themselves on their birthday – this year Chris Canning bought himself prime Beaufort Street real estate to open a restaurant.
When Mille Cafe closed in February this year, Mr Canning, whose background is in garage door manufacturing, saw an opportunity he could not pass up.
The Inglewood resident of 12 years bought the space on May 11 and one week later, renovations were underway for Mille on Beaufort.
“This is my first venture into hospitality, but it has always been a passion,” he said.
“Garage doors are a purposeful product; you push the button and the door goes up or down, there is no emotional fulfillment, but in hospitality there is.”
Mr Canning said the space was gutted, stripping it of its former Italian theme to create a new one – old Australian/English charm.
“It is a restaurant now, we dumped the ‘cafe’ part of the name and completely renovated; it needed a lot of work, it had not been looked after as it should have been,” he said.
“We repainted the walls, removed the plaster and render to make it look semi-industrial and brought in a local artist to paint a mural on the wall.
“We are going for a family friendly, affordable place.”
With a dynamic team behind the scenes the restaurant, including head chef Martin Lawley creating a modern Australian menu, Mr Canning said he planned to scale back on his involvement in garage door making.
“I will wind down on that to about 50 per cent and plan to be the barista from Monday to Friday at the restaurant,” he said.
Mille on Beaufort opened this week.