It's a bold move to open a new bar and eatery in the middle of a pandemic but Leah Morphett and Simonn Hawke are up for a challenge.
The talented pair have expanded from running the fine dining Lolli Redini Restaurant to opening a more casual venture half a block away in the former Percy's site on Summer Street.
Birdie, or to give it its formal title, Birdie Noshery and Drinking Establishment, opens on Friday night.
It's about having optimism to do things.Leah Morphett, co-owner Birdie and Lolli Redini
Ms Morphett said the aim was to create a relaxed and casual atmosphere for people to have a drink, with or without a meal.
"It's a completely new business," she said. "It's not a restaurant, it's casual."
She said they wanted to create a bar that would appeal to people without the macho-feel of a pub.
"It's fun, it's more female-friendly," she said.
"It's a bit softer and it's a bit more girl-friendly.
"You can come and have a glass of wine, you don't need to have a meal."
Opening in the middle of a pandemic has brought its own challenges, but they have created 15 new jobs in the process.
"It's about having optimism to do things," she said.
"Other people have just shut."
Under COVID-19 rules they will be limited to 50 people inside, half of the venue's capacity. People are advised to book.
She said they had made up the name Birdie.
"We've been looking for something for a while; to do something more casually," she said.
"It's just a great location. It's on the main street. It's a prime place."
Chef and co-owner Ms Hawke said the food was far removed from the fine-dining experience of Lolli's.
She said there would be individual tapas plates and more relaxed meals than at a restaurant.
Ms Hawke said her sister Georgie Hawke, who designed the interior of Lolli's, had also devised the design for Birdie.
Prints of birds with a unique twist dominate the walls amid funky posters.
She said Lolli's would continue to operate as a takeaway business during the virus. "People eat our food in their pyjamas," she said.
Ms Hawke said doctors and staff at the Orange Hospital had been big customers during the pandemic.
"It's more flexible. They want to eat something healthy," she said.
Birdie will open from 7am-midnight Tuesday-Saturday and 7am-5pm Sunday-Monday.
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