Bretts Wharf announced today it would be closing its doors January 26, 2012.
The land on which the iconic and much loved restaurant sits has been resumed by Brisbane City Council to make way for road improvements to Kingsford-Smith Drive.
“Our main concern is for the almost 100 staff we employ, many of whom have been employed with us since we opened more than 15 years ago” said Genny Nielson, who is one of the four owners of Bretts Wharf, “But whilst we agree that something does need to be done to improve Kingsford Smith Drive, it will still be a very sad day when we finally close our doors on Australia Day 2012”.
Brisbane City Council announced its intention to resume the land last year and since then plans for Kingsford Smith Drive have been on the table, then off the table and now, very recently, back on the table again. “In the absence of clear and precise information from Council it has been all but impossible for us to market our business in the professional way for which we have become renowned, as we have had conflicting information about what would be happening and in what time frame” said Ms Nielson “Since Council’s intentions became public last year we have seen a rapid decline in the number of wedding and corporate functions. But at least now that we know, and we can plan for the next 10 months”.
When asked about future plans, Ms Nielson said “Our executive chef, Alastair McLeod, has done an extraordinary job in creating a truly exceptional team of professionals in both the front and back of house. It will be a real shame if that team is dispersed, and we would be delighted to find a new location in Brisbane, desirably with river views and with the combination of restaurant, function spaces and also to be able to provide off-site catering”.
Alastair will remain as Executive Chef at Bretts Wharf until its closure and is also executive chef at the new Tank Restaurant and Bar in Brisbane’s CBD.
“I know Alastair is particularly concerned for his suppliers of the wonderful local produce we use in both restaurants. Great producers are the lifeblood of our business and we have been able to use Bretts Wharf as a vehicle to showcase and introduce many specialty ingredients and primary products over the years.” Ms Nielson said.
Bretts Wharf is expecting a very busy time over the next 10 months in both their restaurant and function facility as their loyal clients come in for the last time to enjoy the fabulous river and city views, fresh local seafood and welcoming friendly service for which Bretts Wharf is so well known “Many of our clients have been coming here as regular diners for the entire time we’ve been open, they’ve had so many celebrations and lovely occasions with us, their last visits with us will be very poignant for both staff and clients alike”.
“One thing we are determined to ensure from now till next Australia Day is that the quality of food, service and lovely ambience is maintained to the highest standard right up until last drinks are called”, said Ms Nielson, “We’ve all worked extremely hard to provide a restaurant, function room and off-site catering service providing excellence, and that is how we want people to remember Bretts Wharf”.
A large farewell party is planned for the evening of January 25, 2012.