A large helping of nostalgia goes into every element of Bar Florian, a unique antipasto bar in Port Macquarie. Based on a northern Italian concept and named after Cafe Florian – one of the oldest cafes in Venice – it has been created in a 1960s retro style to reflect owner Gino Cunial’s first recollections of his visit as youngster with his parents. A veteran of the wine and hospitality industry, we spoke with Gino about why he chose Cafeideas to help set up this latest venture.

The challenge
Gino and his wife Maree have been involved with Cafeideas for more than 12 years, having purchased many items for their previous business, The Little Fish Cafe. They initially began their new quest for products when searching for refrigeration equipment for the new bar.

Problems they had experienced
From time to time, Gino says he has sought products and smaller equipment items from other retailers but found that the only result was wasted time. He says he ordered food processors and ice crushers, only to be disappointed when the companies he tried to deal with failed to follow through on pricing, were extremely vague about their product lines and couldn’t provide firm answers regarding availability.

How Cafeideas helped
This time around, Gino and Maree originally dealt with Cafeideas Manager, Damien.

“He was really helpful in actually putting together a little plan for the bar and helped us determine the best way to fit the furniture we were looking at, including high stools,” Gino explained. When the task turned to refrigeration, the pair were put in touch with Vibha who has remained their Account Manager since.

“Vibha has been extremely helpful,” Gino continued. “The communication has always been great. She gives us quotes, arranges deliveries and there is never a problem with anything.”

Gino explains that Vibha’s expertise was very helpful in determining the precise products that would be suitable for the purpose including dimensions, brands, functionality and quality.

“The thing that really impresses me about Cafeideas is that they speak our language,” Gino says. “We’re experienced operators and some of these other suppliers are simply not in our league and we find we need to educate them on what we need. At Cafeideas, they are always good to their word, they know their stuff and they follow through every time.”

Asked if he would deal with Cafeideas again in the future, Gino was adamant: “They’re our first port of call,” he says. “The whole process, the range and the service are easy and we never have any problems.”

From Cafeideas, Bar Florian purchased: Boronia beechwood timber chairs, Darlinghurst bar stools, Clifton beechwood timber bar stools, Vintage side chairs, Paris table bases, Nardi Fiore table bases, Nardi Fiore bar table bases, a F.E.D. meat slicer, a Norris dishwasher and a Exquisite back bar chiller.

About Bar Florian
A regional antipasto bar located in picturesque Port Macquarie, Bar Florian is a labour of love for husband and wife team Gino and Maree Cunial. Since opening, it has become known as more of a destination venue for theatre-goers and concert fans, particularly in the 30-upwards age bracket.

What makes Bar Florian unique is that it is the holder of the only Small Bar License in its region which is unusual for country areas. Licensed to serve up to 60 people – with or without food – and only permitted to serve patrons aged 18 or older, it presents a decidedly grown-up atmosphere where patrons can enjoy a spectacular cocktail or choose from an ever-evolving menu of fine meats and cheeses.

“We source our cheeses mostly from France,” Gino says, “and our meats are all produced in the northern Italian style.”

Manager Andrew Devlin is a large part of the Bar Florian ethos. Having previously tended bar in top Sydney and London venues, he is renowned for his flair for cocktails. With a wine list that features an exciting selection of wines including varietals unique to Italy such as Chianti, plus boutique and craft beers and a large array of top shelf spirits, it’s no surprise that Bar Florian is making quite a name for itself as a nightspot for discerning adults who appreciate the finer things in life.

Bar Florian is open from 4pm to 11pm Wednesday to Saturday and 2pm to 8pm on Sundays.