Regulars at Sydney's Bistecca restaurant won't be surprised to learn they'll be continuing the practice of confiscating diners' mobile phones when spin-off venue The Gidley opens its doors in November.
The Gidley might be modelled on an American steakhouse, but owners James Bradey and Warren Burns want to tap the vibe of home entertaining.
"There is no front to the bar ... We want it to feel like we're entertaining you at home, so we'll make drinks next to you," Bradey says.
The handing over of mobile phones at Bistecca has seemingly morphed from controversial to coveted.
"When we started doing lunch we didn't ask for them because we figured it was in work time, but customers happily handed them over," he says.
While Bistecca is known for serving a single cut of meat, head chef Pip Pratt will have more to play with at The Gidley, with standing prime rib roast, "brick"chicken and a specialty cut, spinalis.
The subterranean former site of Subsolo and Peter Conistis' Omega Restaurant is getting a makeover with stained-glass dividing walls, crushed velvet fabrics and timber panelling.