Bourke Street is now home to a little piece of eastern Europe. The airy light filled dining room and sprawling outdoor courtyard are not where you might expect to be served dishes from the heart of Bohemia.

Owners Petra and Jakub have taken the best and most nostalgic cuisine from their home country, Czech Republic, and offer it to Surry Hills with a unique, modern Australian twist.

Petra came to Australia from the Czech Republic in 2009 after completing a Master’s in economics. With plans to practise her English she found herself working her way up the Sydney hospitality ladder. Jakub’s background is in advertising; at 27 he decided to leave everything—flat, car, and job—come to Australia and start again from scratch.

Petra met Jakub through shared hospitality management work and now, ten years later, they’ve gone out on their own with Beast and Co., a modern homage to their Czech roots.

Guests can expect masterfully cooked traditional fare, inspired by Petra and Jakub’s grandparents, local and Czech beers and a casual, homely atmosphere.

Opening a new restaurant during a pandemic is not for the faint hearted. It was a risk, but the perks of cheapened rent and more time to perfect their offering was worth the gamble.

“We opened the same day the northern beaches got locked down. It was pretty unlucky,” said Jakub.

Despite numerous hurdles, Beast and Co. has been a hit with locals and word is spreading fast. Their locally minded, seasonal approach to the menu means that the food is always changed, bar a few closely guarded favourites (see the pickled camembert, inspired by the popular Czech snack.

“At the moment it’s all about word of mouth, and the joy of locals coming in and trying us out, giving us a chance, loving it, coming back and bringing more people,” said Petra.

Beast & Co is open 4pm–late Tuesday–Thursday, from 12pm–late Fridays, 11am–late Saturdays and 11am–10pm Sundays. Visit their website for more information, offers and updates.

Beast & Co.

Shop 15/425 Bourke St, Surry Hills