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Expression Of Interest: The Joan seeks hospitality operator for new café

The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (The Joan) is seeking a professional food and beverage operator for an exciting new café that will enrich the experience at the centre.

Following an upgrade to The Joan by Penrith City Council, a new 19 sqm café will be built in the atrium foyer, including 66 sqm of internal and external seating, to enliven the venue and provide all-day dining for the whole community to enjoy.

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown OAM said as an important creative hub in Penrith, the upgrade of The Joan plays a starring role in our vision to revitalise significant spaces and places in our city.

“Our community has been waiting in the wings to enjoy live performances at The Joan once again when COVID-19 restrictions ease. To support the recovery of the arts community Council is delivering an upgrade of The Joan to improve the amenity and enhance patrons’ experience at the centre,” Cr McKeown said.

“The new café will be the perfect place to grab a meal before a show or catch up over a drink at the bar to debrief after a performance. These facilities will deepen the audience’s engagement with the arts and broaden the patronage at The Joan. The external seating will also revitalise the Mondo, improving the venue’s connection to the adjacent Westfield Penrith,” Cr McKeown added.

CEO of Penrith Performing & Visual Arts (PP&VA), Hania Radvan said that recent community research had underscored the need for The Joan to offer an holistic experience for patrons, with a place to gather before and after performances.

“A sense of connection is central to people’s engagement in arts and culture, with the social experience of sharing a meal before or after a show, in a creative venue, deepening their enjoyment of a local night out. It’s also just fantastic for some of the many hundreds of parents waiting for children taking music or drama lessons to have somewhere on-site to relax and reflect. Being in a space like The Joan offers something additional to the everyday hospitality experience, so we are very excited to be moving ahead with our much-anticipated café.”

“We are looking for a café operator that will work closely with us to develop food and beverage packages that reflect our artistic programs. This is a fantastic opportunity for a hospitality operator to run a brand-new café in a popular arts and culture venue, with 122,000 people coming through The Joan each year,” Ms Radvan added.

The café operator will also manage the newly refurbished Borland Bar, located inside the foyer of The Joan.

Not just for patrons of The Joan, the café will be a popular place to meet with friends or family to enjoy quality café style food as well as theatre favourites such as chocolate and ice cream.

The Development Application for The Joan café has been approved, with construction set to commence in early 2022 and completion scheduled for March 2022.

Council and The Joan are seeking an experienced food and beverage operator with the flexibility to cater to a wide audience in a dynamic venue that transitions from daytime café to an evening theatre bar.

Interested hospitality operators can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before 1 December 2021.