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Wednesday 22 July 2015

New beginnings for Cygnet's Red Velvet Lounge

Eight months after its interior was gutted by fire, one of Tasmania's iconic eateries this morning re-opened its doors for the first time. 

Cygnet's Red Velvet Lounge, home of award-winning chef Steve Cumper, has a completely new look but Cumper says his food ethos has not changed.

The focus will remain on local produce like Huon Valley Berkshire free-range pork and wine from Elsewhere, but in a fresher, more stylish setting. 

Cygnet, 40-minutes south of Hobart, was badly hit by the loss of the RVL, and loyal customers raised over $40,000 to help reopen the venue, which is in a 103-year-old building on the small town's main street. 

The RVL serves everything from gourmet meals to coffees, freshly baked bread and house-made cakes, and has been a big drawcard for both visitors from Hobart and further afield in recent years. 

In previous winters Cumper has served free soup and bread once a week to locals needing a hearty meal. 

After eight months of dealing with insurance companies and designers, he opened the doors at 8am, his emotions a mixture of joy and relief. 

"There are obviously high expectations considering what we've done in the past, and we think people will like the tweaks we have made," he said, adding that local support had been the key to his deciding to continue with the business. 

“That outpouring of goodwill was really a validation that we should give it another go,” he said.

The new interior, seen here, was kept secret until this morning and while several staff had moved on to new jobs during the eight-month hiatus, a couple are returning. 

Cumper says the ambiance will be "casual" and the menu will feature "accessible country food that is welcoming", as was the case before the fire.    

The wine list will be "ultra local" with a focus on bottles from the Huon Valley and d'Entrecasteaux Channel, but there will also be a supplementary list with some quirky options and a cellar reserve list of individual aged bottles from a collector's cellar. 

Red Velvet Lounge, 24 Mary St, Cygnet TAS 7112. (03) 6295 0466. Open 8am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday and for dinner on Saturdays. Gourmet pizzas are made on Friday and Saturday evenings.   


1 comment:

  1. It’s good that the RVL is back in business. What with one thing and another, all three main sources of not-bad coffee in Cygnet have been out of action recently. In the meantime, the Bottom Pub, under new ownership, has been making hay — and not a bad cup of coffee either. Let’s hope the renewed competition spurs each venue’s baristas to lift their games even further. At the heart of every eatery’s success lies a top-class bean.