Club Fontana opens in former home of Ron's Upstairs in Redfern

Join the club: The sunny space that is Redfern’s Fontana.
Join the club: The sunny space that is Redfern’s Fontana. Photo: Rhett Wyman

When the team from Don Peppino's first fell in love with the Redfern restaurant space occupied by Ron's Upstairs, they didn't envisage they'd end up occupying it.

But Don met Ron's, and it is now Redfern's newest restaurant, Club Fontana.

Ron's closed earlier this year, just as Harry Levy, Daniel Johnston and Ivey Wawn were on the hunt for their next joint project after vacating Don Peppino's Oxford Street digs, which is being redeveloped as a hotel.

Carpaccio frutti di mare.
Carpaccio frutti di mare.  Photo: Rhett Wyman

With 'roo ragu on its opening menu line-up, what culinary label do you attach to Fontana?

"It's Italian," says Wawn. "Dan is obsessed with Italian cooking." But it teams the cuisine with local produce – where appropriate.

"Kangaroo tail is a wonderful ingredient, like oxtail in Italy," she says.

Paccheri with roo ragu.
Paccheri with roo ragu.  Photo: Rhett Wyman

Johnston, who spent time in the kitchen at Alberto's Lounge, is also punching out artichoke alla giudia, carpaccio and zabaglione cream with quince.

The dining room is a labour of love. "Dan got on the tools, my dad helped us out and my sister, Claudia, did the mural [with conceptual assistance from creative studio Oko Olo]."

"We have a bar. People can come in just for a drink," says Wawn, who took her skills as a sommelier to Cafe Paci between projects. 

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At Fontana, there is a good cocktail list, and the natural wine list is clever, Wawn keen to include affordable options in lieu of house wine. 

Fontana might translate as fountain, but the crew at this Redfern new arrival has created a 60-seat restaurant and bar, which is most of all a place to "hang out".  

Open Sat lunch, Wed-Sat dinner.

Zabaglione cream with quince.
Zabaglione cream with quince.  Photo: Rhett Wyman

133a Redfern Street, Redfern, clubfontana.com