Jet Bar Caffe's renovation creates a sparkling and glamorous gem
Jet Bar Caffe has been a fixture in Sydney's QVB for the past fourteen years and recently reopened after a full makeover.
“We began in 1997 as a small espresso bar, but expanded to take over the full corner space in 2000,” said co-owner Tony Mowad. “With the renovation, we wanted to keep our art deco feel, but to freshen the café up and make it more conducive for customers to sit down and relax in.”
Tony had used Cafeideas over the years for a number of requirements for the business. When the time came to plan the makeover, he put the job to a number of suppliers.
“Damien from Cafeideas was really helpful, which made it easy to choose them,” said Tony. “We told him our budget and what we wanted to achieve. He was able to make suggestions that meant that we were often able to come up with something even better than we'd first planned, and still stick within budget.”
Cafeideas supplied the vast majority of Jet Bar Caffe's kitchen fitout, along with equipment such as bar fridges, ice machines, toasters, and tables, and outdoor chairs.
“Their prices were very good and Damien was very hands-on. He came on site several times during the renovation to check everything was going well,” said Tony. “Cafeideas were also very flexible because as the build progressed, we occasionally found that the dimensions we'd planned around had changed. Damien was able to adjust the order and source new equipment or cabinetry to better fit the revised space.”
Jet Bar Caffe only had a window of ten weeks in which to complete the renovation.
“It was vitally important that everyone worked to schedule to ensure we could reopen in August,” said Tony. “Cafeideas were able to supply what we needed to fit in with our renovation schedule.”
Jet Bar Caffe serves a diverse market of shoppers, tourists, commuters and CBD workers.
“We serve around 1,000 coffees a day as well as breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and our bar runs until 11pm so we're busy all day,” said Tony. “Our customers and staff really love the fresh new look and feel of the place, so it's been great to see the plans we've had for so many years come to life.”
Renowned chef Danny Russo has overseen menu development, kitchen design and kitchen team formation. His menu draws inspiration from classic Italian dishes, with a healthier and lighter touch.
Asked about how the café got its name, Tony reflects that there are two reasons for using the word ‘jet' in its title.
“One is because – like a jet plane – we wanted to convey how fast our service is, which is particularly important in the CBD market,” he said. “The second is symbolic of the black gemstone, jet, which was popular during the art deco period. It originates from high pressure decomposition of ancient timber, which is then polished to create a beautiful and sparkling jewel.”
Jet Bar Caffe has simulated the lustrous gemstone in a high wall of gleaming black feature tiles above the bar area.
“With such a small timeframe to complete the renovation, our entire team was under a lot of pressure,” said Tony. “It's a bit like the gemstone, I guess. Under pressure, we too have been able to create something very beautiful I think.”
Jet Bar Caffe is open seven days a week from 7.30am to 11pm. It is located in the QVB at 455 George Street, Sydney, opposite Town Hall.