The Vault Restaurant - Kalamunda

You can bank on The Vault to serve the best Italian food in Kalamunda

Caterlink’s latest commercial kitchen design and fit-out converts an old branch of the Commonwealth Bank
into an Italian restaurant, where the wines are so fine they store them in the safe!

An ex-bank would not usually be the first location that springs to mind when looking to create a new restaurant, however the team at ‘The Vault’ have turned this novelty into a feature when establishing their Italian eatery in the heart of Kalamunda. Opened in March 2018 at a cost of $35,000, with a rustic decor of red brick, blonde wood and stainless steel, it features the bank vault, now converted to a wine ‘cellar’ on the main floor. It is one of very few traditional vaults or lock-up rooms in Perth open to the public.

The site has long been part of the Kalamunda landscape, having been a butcher shop in the 1920s, before it became a deli. It then went on to become a branch of the Commonwealth Bank for 35 years, but upon closing had lain empty for six years until Vince Giglia bought it in 2016.

Vince came to Caterlink with a concept of a restaurant with traditional Italian fare using fresh produce. Father and son David and Jackson Carnegie-Smith later joined Vince as owner/managers. Jackson Carnegie-Smith brought with him experience in hospitality, combined with an accounting degree with a Business Major from Curtin University. Caterlink spoke with him about The Vault:

‘The concept is a family-oriented, Italian-style restaurant with something for everyone. The hand-made large pizza oven was imported directly from Italy. We have high-quality chefs from Italy in the kitchen with their own recipes. My personal favourite is the handmade gnocchi with the sage and pumpkin sauce but we have had a lot of feedback from our customers and I could handpick 15 meals that people have said “This is the best version of that dish that I have ever had.” Any number of dishes on our menu are good enough to be our signature dish.

This is such a great spot. Vince bought the building in 2016, six months before I came into the picture. The fit-out from scratch of this  commercial kitchen had unique challenges to the site. Its original layout and structure is very solid; with this restaurant fit-out you could not just knock down walls and change things, so we were limited with what could be done with it. The ideas changed along the way—an original concept might have been to put something in one spot but the mechanics of it made it impossible. By the time we worked out the final plan of having the kitchen down where the bank tellers used to be, having the cool rooms where the office was and then having to make our own office and pop in more cool rooms for the bar, designs had changed.

In terms of project management—coordinating tradies was difficult as they would not always come in when they said they would: timelines were a bit of a nightmare with certain tradies.

If we had outsourced the project management earlier it would have made the project a lot faster and a lot less stressful, but I would not have learnt from it. But I will certainly never start another restaurant from scratch again.

‘Vince had already teed up with Caterlink’s David and Adrian. I think they really helped him with the design and layout to really utilise the space and from there the discussion went “What equipment do we need to use?” With a place this size in the very centre of a town that does not have a lot of competition we knew we were going to be busy and you want top quality equipment. You don’t want to cheap out on somethings when you are going to use them for the next 15 years.’

Waldorf commercial cooking equipment was installed at The Vault, with Rational combi ovens and Williams refrigeration . The wash ware was from Washtech and the restaurant also features a Festive cake display for all its traditional Italian tortes and pastries.

‘The people we have worked with at Caterlink have been great, the equipment has been top class. You are always going to have a few issues here and there, but as soon as you let the guys know what our issues were, they were very quick to respond and fix it up.‘

Plans for the future include expanding operations to the second floor; there is room for a large function room upstairs that can cater for 100 – 130 people; we have a dumbwaiter straight above the kitchen. Once it is up and running we can sort out the second bar and all the shelving. We plan on expanding internally not externally. The Vault is licensed for 300 people: it is a large building. We want to expand into bigger functions like weddings etc.

We are already getting fully booked up for Christmas parties, also a comedy night for the end of the year, as well as engagement parties. We have a nice, large function area the whole shire can use; there are not too many large places around for those types of events.’

The Vault Restaurant, at 21 Haynes Street Kalamunda, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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