If Justin Hemmes put the swagger back into Coogee with the sprawling Coogee Pavilion, Tom Hardwick is hoping to do the same for more diminutive wine bars.
"There aren't a lot of options between La Perouse and Tamarama," he says of his decision to plant the Coogee Wine Room a few doors along from Maloney's on Coogee Bay Road.
It also helps he's a local, and a wine nerd.
Good Food tracked Hardwick down in the south of France, where he was on a fact-finding tour for his new venue, which is under construction and will open in six weeks.
Hardwick and his partner Michelle Morales have assembled an impressive team for the start-up, snaring former A Tavola chef Sandro Di Marino to knock out ricotta raviolo with chestnuts and pork cheek sliders, and manager Brooke Adey (Bea, Chiswick, Yellow).
TomMarkHenry, the design crew behind Bistecca and Cronulla's slick C.C. Babcoq, is fashioning a space that mixes polished concrete floors, leather and marble.
The ground floor is somewhere sand-schnitzeled beachgoers can pop in for a drink, with a blackened steel staircase leading to a smarter upstairs room.
The former chief executive of childhood giant Guardian Early Learning Group, Hardwick will add a few bottles from his own cellar to the 400-plus wine list.
"Just to give it some age," he says.