Foursome lured to top business
HERVEY Bay's atmosphere was so strong it lured a business couple all the way from Ipswich to take over the Pier Restaurant and Urangan Motor Inn.
The Urangan business now has four new owners after a year-long hunt for a great Queensland business to take over.
Les Gosden and Pauline Morris have moved from Ipswich to partner with Jenny and Michael George from Tiaro to operate the complex.
Mr Gosden stepped down from his role as CEO of the Ipswich Services Bowls Club so he and partner Ms Morris could manage their own business, eventually deciding on the Pier Restaurant late last year.
They joined with Ms Morris's sister and her husband Mr and Mrs George to take over both the restaurant and the motor inn business.
The four new operators have been in business for less than a month after timing the takeover to take advantage of the coming whale season.
Along with many Fraser Coast operators, the restaurant has felt the pinch from the lack of international visitors and the high Australian dollar.
“That requires us to rely on Australians, rather than international tourists.” Mr Gosden said.
“I think the domestic market is really where we need to go,” he said.
Mr Gosden encouraged the local industry to consider the travellers from places such as Victoria who often converged on Queensland during winter.
The business has budgeted to survive a tough opening in quiet months and believed they would be well prepared to cater for the crowds during the whale season.
“It is early days yet,” Mr Gosden said.
“We knew it was going to be tough for the first few months.”
All 10 former staff members have stayed on at the restaurant, including award-winning executive chef Carolyn Brummell.
The restaurant is open from 6pm until late Monday to Saturday and is on the Esplanade in Urangan.