Owner reveals hopes and dreams for new restaurant post-COVID
SHABBY chic is the vibe for the new Fish D'vine Restaurant and Bar, due to open in its new Airlie Esplanade premises soon, opposite the beach.
This will be the restaurant's third incarnation, having first opened in Beach Plaza, in 2004, and then moved to its current position, on Shute Harbour Road, in 2010.
"And here we are in 2020," owner Kevin Collins said, adding the restaurant was finished but there was "no point opening for 10 people".
"We are thinking mid-July for the opening at this point. We would like to be open, but with more people - we want to open with a big party."
He said the designers had got it just right with the new restaurant's look.
"The brief was "shabby chic beach house" and Open Projects got it just right with the weatherboard and timber. It's a balance between comfort and style.
"It's got a really nice feel to it, like you are in a beach house but one that's been recently renovated. There's a lot of whitewash and pale colours and it just feels comfortable."
Mr Collins said you "create the atmosphere, and the food and service get to match that".
"But first the physical product needs to be right before the human touches come in."
The totally revamped restaurant, including all-new kitchen and bar, will be doing some things differently including beers on tap - which Fish D'vine has never done before - and even prosecco on tap.
"We are going to do some innovative things that Airlie Beach hasn't seen before," Mr Collins said.
"We have brought all the elements of our travels in Shanghai, Havana (Cuba) and south-east Asia together.
"It's a culmination of the best things we have seen as we have travelled. There's no such thing as a new idea but we have brought some of the best and quirkiest ideas to Airlie Beach."
One of those quirky ideas is "Castro's Corner" where smokers can join the infamous Fidel Castro (well, his likeness) having a cigar in the designated smoking area outside, as well as snap an "Insta" shot.
There will be footpath dining with a service window opening onto the footpath dining area, so bar staff can serve outdoor diners directly, without coming inside. The full-service restaurant - there will be table service inside and outside - is air-conditioned inside.
"The Pub has set a new standard and I'm proud to be part of the Airlie Esplanade," Mr Collins said.
"We are complementing the hotel's bistro - there's something for everyone on the Airlie Esplanade."