Geronimo Aperitivo Bar & Restaurant - A Touch of European Tradition In Launceston

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Publishedon 16/08/2015 - 07:20 am


If you could open a restaurant anywhere in the world where would it be?

Geronimo BarWhen Jeremy Kode and partner Viktoria Neumann were deciding where to bring to life a dream of theirs, Italy lingered as a possibility. But so did the island no doubt unknown to most: Tasmania. 

Jeremy sits in a tailored blue suit, sipping coffee and discussing the pair’s plan to bring something rather special to this state, with measured gusto.

We’re in Fresh Café on Launceston’s Charles Street, just a couple of doors down from what will soon be the city’s newest spot for food, wine and a little something in between.

Geronimo Aperitivo Bar and Restaurant is set to be sleek and contemporary while offering a generous taste of eating and drinking, Euro style.    

“What’s great about Italy is that you’ll be on your way home from work and stop off at your local where you can have a chat to the bartender or there’ll be people you know sitting at a table,” says Jeremy.

He adds, “It’s about taking the best of what Tassie has to offer then taking the traditions of Europe and putting them together to come up with something that’s a little bit rustic, a bit modern – a combination of these elements.”

What many locals will know as the old Xerox shop has been fitted with Carrara marble, recycled timber, Greek metals and Israeli ceramics. There’s a commanding U-shape bar surrounded by share tables and intimate spots for two. Bifold windows will frame a leafy view of Princes Square and wallpaper featuring the scrawled footnotes found on early 20th century music sheets will adorn the walls. All pretty flash for a space that used to house photocopiers.

The attention to detail and careful selections are a reflection of Jeremy and Viktoria’s experience both professionally and personally.

Jeremy was born in South Africa, grew up in Launceston and studied at the renowned Swiss Hotel Management School in Adelaide. From here, a stint in Queensland, study in Spain and a whole lot of travel in between. A move to Shanghai would begin a demanding, rewarding journey in high-end hospitality management.

Having worked in the sales division of a 750-room hotel and then under David Laris, Jeremy moved to Hotel Indigo of the InterContinental Group.

“We turned what was a boring hotel bar into something that was pumping - we were doing 600 people on a Friday and Saturday night.”

Whiskey KeepHe’d meet Viktoria here; the German born, Italian raised and Swiss educated woman with a wonderfully sweet disposition but focused professionalism. Viktoria says with a cheeky smile that during her internship at the hotel, she often found herself having a drink in the upstairs bar. The rest, they say, is history.

By the way Jeremy and Viktoria carry themselves, interact and prepare to open a restaurant, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’ve spent a long life in hospitality. But aged in their 20s, they credit their knowledge and drive to the opportunity of family travel and a lot of hard work.

After a long time spent catering to the needs of such an extensive global guest list, the pair remains grounded. They have as much respect for a tradesman wanting a knock-off as they do a CEO chasing a lengthy degustation. Perhaps above all, they have respect for staff and are on a mission to boost the profile of hospitality.

“If you don’t look after people they’re just going to be ‘waiters’ and ‘waitresses’ and people won’t respect this industry as a career – it’ll be a means to earn money while you’re at university then move on. Whereas we see it as an industry and career we are immensely proud of.” 

Geronimo plans to cater for all.

“If you’re on a budget, you can buy a $25 pizza with the best seasonal produce on top plus a craft beer and you’re going to walk out for $35.”

Wood fired pizza is a surety; so is local produce and the likes of fat lamb, angus beef and fruit from Jeremy’s family property at Longford.

“It will be a mixture of small and large share plates. If you want to have a traditional three course meal, we can accommodate that as well but we really like the idea of trying different things,” says Jeremy.

“Which is also a much more social way of eating and spending time together,” adds Viktoria. 

Geronimo SeatA chef from across the Tasman will head the kitchen team of six; a group of eager locals will be front of house and you can expect Jeremy, Viktoria or both on the floor at all times. Geronimo will open around 4pm til late six days, promoting the slow, leisurely style of dining favored across Europe. Lunch will be offered Friday til Sunday.

A wine list capturing the best of Tasmania and beyond will feature plenty of by-the-glass options. In a luxurious stroke of genius, the single malt fans among us will be able to purchase an entire bottle of whiskey and leave any leftovers under lock and key in a glass cabinet until your return.  

All the above; the detail, the experience, the fresh take on European, will be on offer from late August.

Launceston’s dining scene is evolving in leaps and bounds, and if the excitement and curiosity keeps up, no doubt locals and visitors alike will be chiming, Geronimo! 

For more information page about Geronimo Aperitivo & Restaurant please visit and like their Facebook page.

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