W H O is behind Side Door?
With a family lineage in wineries and horticulture, and a longstanding career in television and film production design, Kew local Ben Bangay has fortified each of his passions and expertise into one single project; F L A T I R O N Side Door wine bar and event space.
“I’m constantly intrigued by the elements that make people feel like they have a sense of belonging and home,” he says. “I’m interested in the way light, texture, tastes, and ornamentation make people feel comfortable. Side Door has become a way of unifying all of these elements to create a beautiful experience for everyone who visits.”
From the onset, the Flatiron-shaped building has intrigued Ben. “Architecturally its solitude and solidity speak to you. It has authority and presence you simply can’t dispute.” Geographically, F L A T I R O N Side Door marks the collarbone of the entire community, perfectly connecting the city with the suburbs.
With his wife Emma – a lifestyle journalist who cut her teeth in some of the country’s best fashion magazines – Ben has designed a destination that acts as an extension of their home.
“Creating this space with family means that it has a lot of heart,” Emma points out. “It is a welcoming, enveloping space with the deepest sympathies towards creature comforts and sensory pleasure.”
“The garden will be as inviting as the interior,” adds Ben, who is the younger brother of acclaimed garden designer, Paul Bangay. Raised with a deep empathy and appreciation of gardens and outdoor spaces, Ben’s emphasis on the outdoor room of FLATIRON Side Door – flush with elements that will continually evolve with time – is evident.
“We’re not about formalities here,” says Ben. “Friends always enter through the Side Door, and that’s just the way we like it.”