Gogglebox star’s next big move
Jad Nehmetallah is known for his raw and witty commentary about television on Gogglebox Australia, where he shares the couch with long-time friends and newlyweds Matty Fahd and Sarah Marie.
Apart from being the "third wheel" to his mates who just announced they're having a baby, and spending hours a week bringing laughter to Aussie homes, the Sydney local has another interest on the horizon.
He's embarked on a bold new venture located in the heart of western Sydney, which will be a first of its kind in the area.
Jad will take over a heritage-listed building inside Parramatta Park with plans to convert it into a 250-seat bar and restaurant.
"It's something I have been working on for the past two years so seeing it come to life is just amazing," Jad told news.com.au
The unique space is due to open early next year with a menu focusing on local and fresh produce.
It will feature a concept similar to his inner-west based cafe, The Picnic, also located inside a park that encourages customers to embrace local amenities.
"I wanted to bring something different to the area and the site was too good an opportunity to pass," he said.
Spanning more than 400 sqm, his new project will be divided between a bakery, cafe, bar and restaurant. It will also allow customers to either dip in for a drink, enjoy shared food, or relax in the park by hiring picnic blankets and even bikes to explore the local area.
LIFE BEFORE GOGGLEBOX
Jad spent most of his early twenties running night clubs and events across Sydney.
It was during this time he met his fellow Goggleboxer Matty.
But he left it all behind to explore his real love - food.
In 2011 he opened his first "hole in the wall" cafe, Jad's Place.
"Being from a Middle Eastern background food played a major role in my life growing up. It's something I am very passionate about," he said.
"My family would always host big dinners and barbecues where we would entertain about 40 people, so opening my own cafe was just a natural progression.
"I love the joy and happiness it brings to people."
In 2017, he went on to open his next venture, The Picnic, located at Burwood Park in Sydney's inner west.
"I felt like I needed to push myself and expand my knowledge and skill set," he told news.com.au.
"So I opened a cafe on a much-larger scale with a much bigger food offering.
"At first it was extremely challenging, especially because I hadn't done anything like this before. There were a lot of teething issues but you grow professionally and learn as you go."
From its quirky and colourful outdoor decor to its fresh multicultural food, the cafe has become a hit with Instagrammers.
"I wanted our Instagram and Facebook to create the same feeling from the moment they see it online to the second they walk in."
The multicultural menu, with some dishes reflective of Jad's family picnic experiences, boasts an array of cuisines from Asia to the Middle East.
GOGGLEBOX - HE HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THE SHOW
Jad admits he had never watched the show, nor had a desire to be on it.
"We were asked to audition and to be honest I didn't even think we were going to make it through," he said.
"I actually thought it was going to be a few episodes but it ended up being a season and now we have just wrapped up nearly 40 episodes.
"It's not what I thought - it's actually such a great and positive show and I am honestly so glad I did it because every day I get to put a smile on peoples faces."
"A lady who had breast cancer had contacted me saying 'thank you' for making her smile. In fact I invited her and her husband to have lunch at my cafe.
"Laughter is the greatest form of medicine, but it's not just that - we all know someone who is a bit like the three of us so it's about being relatable and genuine."
As for rumours about him being the next Bachelor, the Goggle Box star said:
"If you can get past my mum giving out the roses then I might consider it."
Gogglebox is nominated for Most Popular Entertainment Program and Most Outstanding Entertainment Program at the 2019 TV Week Logie Awards.
Gogglebox Australia Season 10 returns soon to Foxtel and Channel 10