Internationally acclaimed chef, Massimo Speroni, will lead two new dining venues in the city, promising to elevate Newcastle’s flourishing food and drink scene while celebrating local producers.

Internationally acclaimed Chef Massimo Speroni will bring his experience working at Michelin-star restaurants to Newcastle. Photo supplied.

QT Newcastle, the city’s newest boutique hotel located in the former David Jones building on Hunter Street, will open its doors on June 9, alongside its signature restaurants, Jana and Rooftop at QT.

The hotel is part of Iris Capital’s $700 million development in the East End, which spans four city blocks and, at completion, will include three other residential buildings.

“I’m excited to showcase and champion the beautiful Hunter Valley and surrounding regions,” Speroni said.

“True to the QT philosophy, QT Newcastle will offer a highly inventive food and beverage experience, highlighting local provenance.

“QT is a champion for providing extraordinary experiences with a touch of luxury and quirk, from design to signature service.”

The executive chef comes directly from multi-award-winning Brisbane restaurant, Bacchus. 

Speroni also brings experience from the 2 Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy, San Domenico, and the 1 Michelin-starred restaurant in Pescara, Café le Paillotes.

At the heart of Jana’s dining experience is the produce-led menu showcasing ingredients found across NSW and curated in collaboration with local producers and providores.

The venue has promised to elevate Newcastle’s burgeoning food and drink scene while celebrating local producers. Photo supplied.

Jana will feature a private dining room, an open kitchen and a dry-aged meat cabinet, with the restaurant’s namesake, ancient roman goddess, Jana, representing the past and the present.

Jana’s traditional offering is wine, and this emergence of old and new extends to the hotel’s wine partner, Tyrell’s.

The Rooftop at QT will be Newcastle’s tallest rooftop bar boasting uninterrupted views across the harbour and an innovative ‘izakaya’ dining experience.

A brand renowned for its creative drink lists and curated menus, Rooftop at QT will house Newcastle’s largest library of Japanese whisky, a local wine offering and traditional beverages of sake and umeshu. 

From Harajuku Highball to a Tomasu Margarita, the venue’s food is complemented with Japanese-inspired flavours featuring salmon sashimi, yakitori chicken and miso eggplant robata skewers. 

Jana and Rooftop at QT will open their doors on June 9, 2022, in line with the hotel launch.

Newcastle’s industrial past to inform East End’s future

The new 106-room hotel takes inspiration from Newcastle’s working-class coal mining heritage, with contemporary furnishings such as metal cage wardrobes and charcoal steel cabinetry, which applies a fitting industrial scope to the hotel’s luxury design and décor. 

Iris Capital CEO, Sam Arnaout, said QT Newcastle would be a “beautiful blend of old meets new” with the rich history of the Scott’s building and David Jones department store maintained in design elements.

Historic elements of the Scott’s building and David Jones department store were maintained in the QT hotel’s design elements. Photo source: East End

The East End master plan is expected to transform the Newcastle CBD from Perkins to Newcomen Streets over several years and will be completed across four distinct stages.

QT Newcastle is part of the first stage of the four-block development, featuring three other separate residential buildings.

These comprise luxury apartments above the Woolworths Metro retail precinct and forum, with another 20 specialties delivered by the builder, Richard Crookes Constructions.

Stage 2 of the development sits atop the city’s former Lyrique theatre and consists of luxury apartments atop a retail precinct, of which construction is already underway.

Stages 3 and 4 of the master plan are currently in planning.