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eoff Hayward was the kid who
never sat still. He was a bull at
a gate. His school grades were
abysmal. “I’m sure these days
I would have been diagnosed
with ADHD and medicated,” he says wryly.
But while he had the attention span of a
gnat, there was no mistaking his gusto. He used
to trail up and down his Dianella street asking
neighbours if he could wash their cars.
When he broke his leg at 17, he hid his
cast and hobbled into the Playhouse Theatre
to request a job as an usher. At 19, he opened
a cafe in Kalg oorlie so he could offer the locals
something more than “bain-marie crap”. At
23, he won himself a ski trip to New Zealand
by talking 10 people into signing up for an
American Express card.
“Geoff is consistently visionary. He just
makes things happen,” says his long-time
friend and employee Sean Lofts. “When
We meet the man whose sharp instincts and vision
have changed the way Perth eats and drinks
words Sian Briggs photography Ross Wallace
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE Geoff Hayward at his latest
venture, the Boulevard Hotel; an artwork by Caroline Christie
faces the bar; a textured wall made in oregon timber; the
Axo Bell Lamp pendant lights add a dramatic touch.
we’re working full-bore on a project I learn
something from him every day.”
Hayward has never been afraid to dream big,
and his instincts are razor-sharp. He’s changed the
way we socialise in Western Australia by pioneering
venues like Cino to Go, Bar One, Luxe Bar and the
Brisbane Hotel. His latest instalment is the Boulevard
Hotel in Floreat, which opened in February.
As well as being successful, Geoff has been
lauded as one of the best bosses around. He’s
washed the dishes and brewed coffee alongside
the kitchen hands and baristas at Cino. He once
flew all the staff on his payroll down to Margaret
River for the day.
He refers to his employees as friends, and
beams like a proud father when discussing former
staff who went on to open their own ventures.
The secret to his success? “My bank manager
won’t like hearing this, but the desire to make
money is way down on the list of my priorities,”
he says. “Success starts from caring about your
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