The inaugural William Street Long Table Lunch and block party next Saturday (March 11) will hopefully change negative perceptions about Northbridge, say event organisers.
The plein air lunch is the brainchild of Kabir Ramasary, who is director of William Street venues The Bird, North Bird Wine Store and Ezra Pound.
He wanted local businesses to join forces in a community event that would help dispel the stigma of Northbridge being dangerous, anti-social and unsuitable for families.
“I was walking down William Street last year, probably around August when the idea came to me,” Ramasary says.
“I remember saying how awesome it would be to have a long table lunch on the street paired with live music. I just thought it would be so much fun to do something so different.
“The concept was to find a way to collaborate with the local businesses and help remove some of the stigma where Northbridge is seen to be dangerous or anti-social.”
After Ramasary successfully applied for a City of Perth revitalisation grant last December, the ball was well and truly rolling and he began contacting other local businesses to take part.
Along with Ramasary’s venues, Francoforte, Bivouac, Double Rainbow, Govinda’s, Munchy Monk, Downtown Kebabs, Chicho Gelato and Cafe Pastel have all signed-up to deliver a “family style” communal lunch for 300 people on three long tables in the middle of William Street.
The event will be held between Roe and James Streets, which will be closed off to traffic, and groups of four diners will share three entrées, three mains and three sides, as well as a dessert each.
Playing in the background will be live music from WA jazz artists Daniel Susnjar Afro-Peruvian Jazz Group, Jess Carlton Duo and the Kate Pass Kohesia Ensemble.
“The theme for the whole event is ‘community and collaboration’,” Ramasary says.
“So, imagine sitting at a long table potluck dinner in a friend’s backyard where each person invited would bring their favourite dish to show off – the event will be of a similar flavour.
“The venues have been given free rein to be creative and play to their strengths.
“Each venue has been grouped with three others to serve 100 people on the day, and the only restriction was that each dish needed to complement one another to create a beautiful experience for diners.”
From 4pm onwards there will be a free ticketed block party on William Street with live music from Alter Boy, Gia Como, Project Bexx, Racka Chachi and Odette Mercy & Soul Atomics. The party continues into the night at The Bird and Ezra Pound backyard carpark with sets from Anesu, Ghost Care, Grace Sanders, Joan & The Giants, Odlaw, Sai Galaxy (Digital Afrika) and Siobhan Cotchin.
Ramasary says getting permission to close off part of William Street on a Saturday afternoon was a daunting task, but the powers that be were very supportive.
“The City of Perth team were really on board from day one. We are absolutely thrilled that we are able to make this unique and exciting event, that will be enjoyed by hundreds of people, a reality.”
The long table lunch starts at 12pm and the block party at 4pm. For more info and tickets go to moshtix.com.au.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK