Celebrity chef Neil Perry, of Rockpool, is the special guest at the opening of a new world class David Jones and 10 news specialty stores at in the redeveloped Gateway Centre on Thursday.
Wollongong Central’s Antony Keenan said Perry has played an instrumental role in the development of the menu for the new David Jones Food Hall which can accessed on the bottom level of the Gateway Centre as well as from a new entrance off Globe Lane.
Mr Keenan said the official ribbon cutting would take place at 8.45am on the top level of the Gateway Centre on Thursday and that will signal the start of a four day grand opening celebration.
“We are fortunate to have Neil Perry with us for the ribbon cutting. David Jones has started a $100 million transformation rolling out its new food concept in partnership with Neil Perry. It is great to have somebody of his calibre to really help with the design of the menu choices for David Jones. And we are expecting a big crowd for the opening of Mecca Maxima at 9.30 as well. They are the number specialty beauty retailer in Australia and New Zealand.”
Mr Keenan said there were many activities planned for the day that he thinks will really kick off Christmas shopping early this year. “There is a fashion and beauty hub and a virtual fashion show”.
David Jones has started a $100 million transformation rolling out its new food concept in partnership with Neil Perry- Antony Keenan
Mr Keenan said David Jones and Wollongong Central wanted to bring back some of the old charm the department store had when the original food hall was open in the 70’s and early 80’s. “We have a pianist who is going to be playing here for the launch as well and you are going to see some great concierge helping people to navigate through all the new brands arriving. The Grand Piano will be on the top level under one of our new skylights”.
Mr Keenan said many of the retailers throughout the whole shopping centre had refreshed their look and will have opening weekend offers. He said it was a really exciting time for the whole city centre as he showed off the new children’s room which is now open. “This is such a big project and I am really proud of everyone involved and what we have been able to deliver”.
David Jones has put on 200 additional staff and many jobs have been created in other retail outlets. Around 200 jobs were created during construction.