The Amalfi Coast, but on a Monday night in Everton Park. That was Tim Johnson’s ambition for Tetto Rooftop Bar, which opened in early December.
“I’ve been along that stretch of coast a couple of times now,” Johnson says. “And over to Mykonos and the Greek Islands. Anything around that area feels amazing. The sun’s always shining and people are happy. I thought if we could bring that back, that’d be pretty cool … There hasn’t been much out [in Everton Park] in terms of casual dining or drinking with a vibe.”
Tetto nails that brief. The DCB Developments-designed space is a 120-seat looker with Mediterranean arches, white stucco walls, orange and coral fabrics, and plenty of greenery scattered about its first-floor rooftop space.
But there’s also some clear-eyed pragmatism going on here. Much of Johnson’s early career was spent in Melbourne as a state manager for Grill’d and later as general manager for Fonda, a slick Mexican restaurant chain. In short, the guy knows the business side of food and drink – and in a revamped Everton Plaza there was an opportunity to introduce Tetto alongside new instalments of his popular, approachable Comuna Cantina and Corbett & Claude eateries.
“The intersection [of South Pine and Stafford roads and Griffith Street] is one of the busiest in the state,” Johnson says. “There are 5000 army officers in the nearby barracks … [We could] bring what we do in the city [with Comuna Cantina and Corbett & Claude] out to that area.”
Tetto in particular feels like a vibrant injection of colour for Everton Park. The nearest decent bars are Ploughman and The Woods, in Alderley and Mitchelton respectively.
“People don’t want to be confined to one cuisine or experience,” Johnson says. “We’ve always wanted to have a rooftop bar as part of the group. Bars have always been a big part of Corbett and Comuna – so it’s just expanding on that philosophy.”
For drinks, Tetto has a breezy menu that focuses on spritzes and approachable built cocktails. Twelve taps are dominated by craft beers such as Balter XPA and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale but also include a Union Hill cider and a Days of Rosé rosé.
Food is a slick selection of bar snacks such as bolognese arancini, house-made meatballs, as well as a handful of mains – Peroni-battered fish and chips, say, or chicken cotoletta – that are available until 5pm.
With Tetto, Corbett & Claude and Comuna Cantina now humming along at Everton Plaza, Johnson says the longterm plan is to keep packaging the trio together and taking them to other parts of town.
“The CBD will always be an important part of what we do,” he says. “But the right suburban area with the right demographic is equally advantageous. You get the lease right, the property right and the location and the parking right – then it’s just about creating an environment that people are drawn to.”