We speak to Script Bar & Bistro’s Owner, Brendan Keyte about how the restaurant has changed over the years, his favourite MTC production and working with his brother.

Is there anything MTC Members might find surprising about Script?
Script is much more than just Script Bar & Bistro. We run all events and functions within the Southbank Theatre, Level 1 Dining Room, Qatar Airways MTC Lounge and Southbank Summer Terrace Bar, and we cater to the local neighbourhood including the Melbourne Recital Centre. Blondie is part of our portfolio however we work hard to differentiate the restaurants including the front of house teams, kitchen teams, menus, music, vibe, wine lists and much more.

What it’s like working with your brother (Adam Keyte, Blondie’s Owner)?
In a word – great. We are fortunate to know our place in the partnership and this helps to ensure the team knows where they stand with both – this is vital to the direction of the businesses. He is funny, creative and very strategic. I am more intimately involved in the operational detail of the business. It works really well.

How long have you both been in the restaurant industry?
Adam and I have been in Hospitality for a long time! About 30 and 25 years respectively. Strangely, we both studied commerce/economics at university and ended up in Hospitality. We were drawn to Hospitality in a powerful way. Adam was a tax accountant at KPMG and I was working in the high tech manufacturing sector as part of an accounting team when we both independently sought out careers in Hospitality – Adam in restaurants and myself in boutique catering. He went on to own successful cafes, a juice bar and an Italian restaurant in Melbourne Central having started at the iconic Cafe e Cucina in South Yarra. I went on to manage Epicure Catering and spent four years as Catering Manager for Arts Centre Melbourne having started at the Stokehouse in St Kilda.

Why did you decide to open a restaurant in the Arts Precinct?
Simple answer – my strong, personal point of view is that the arts (and particularly music) are the highest form of human expression and evolution. Who wouldn’t want to work in the middle of such talent and cultural richness?

How long has Script Bar & Bistro been in operation?
We opened Script in July 2009 and the impact was immediate. In fact, it was so busy from week one that we struggled to cope with the demand – even though we had planned for it well in advance! It demonstrated to us that MTC subscribers and arts patrons in general were looking for something more than a snack and importantly, wanted table service. In fact, we were the first in-house, theatre-related restaurant to offer full table service and boy, did it pay off. Still to this day, there are very few in-house full service restaurants in Arts Precincts in Australia.

How has the restaurant changed since it opened?
Over the years the menu has become more authentically Italian (with some creative licence) and the addition of Roberto and Fabrizio to the team has seen great improvements in the offer. The other big change has been the source of our customers. Originally it was almost purely MTC subscribers seeing a show at Southbank Theatre. These days, it is a myriad of customers from Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV, Malthouse, ACCA, Melbourne Recital Centre and the Myer Music Bowl.

What has been your favourite MTC production over the years?
The Ugly One in 2010. A truly wonderful piece of theatre. Funny and intriguing, it had me thinking about it for days after.