NEW OFFERING: Claire van Vuuren and Mitch Grady are bringing a new restaurant to Bellingen - Popla located at 2 Oak St.
NEW OFFERING: Claire van Vuuren and Mitch Grady are bringing a new restaurant to Bellingen - Popla located at 2 Oak St.

Bellingen's new Popla spot for local foodies

THE DYNAMIC duo behind renowned Sydney restaurant Bloodwood are bringing their unique food and wine experience to Bellingen.

Claire van Vuuren and Mitch Grady were well established in Newtown but were looking to spread their wings to another city location.

That was until they visited the small, riverside town known for its waterfalls, waterholes, arts and culture.

"We just fell in love (with Bellingen)", Claire said.

"It instantly took away a lot of the stress that comes with living in the city"

The new foodie's delight to be known as Popla Bellingen will sit in a freestanding, heritage-listed cottage at No 2 Oak Street, once home to another legendary eating spot.

Not wanting to make any changes to the outside of the property, instead they opened up the kitchen, broke down walls and made the space open-plan, refurbishing it with light-coloured wood.

Street artist Georgia Hill has designed a black-and-white, geometric mural for each of the walls.

The old fireplace is running again and the entire menu is based around it.

Smoked goats cheese, charred greens, wood-fired chicken and smoked sake all make an appearance, alongside dry-aged rib-eye steak, oxtail dumplings and salt-baked grouper for seafood lovers.

Naturally, produce will be local and sustainable with the area is renowned for its farms.

"With a slower pace than Newtown, we will be able to branch out.

"We make our own flour, charcuterie, bread and cheese.

"This beautiful marble bench has been installed and we now have the time, space and opportunity to do all the things we didn't have time to do in the city."

Beer will come in tinnies and cocktails will feature native ingredients to make unique exotics like Saltbush Margarita and Davidson's Plum Cosmopolitan.

One thing imported from Bloodwood is a wine list packed with organic and biodynamic options.

The space will hold 60 people with outdoor deck dining and a wine bar alongside the sit-down area.

Popla Bellingen is slated to open this Wednesday.



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