BANNISTERS at Soldiers Point is about to open and there is plenty of curiosity about what we can all expect.
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Bannisters Hotels, Australian home to English celebrity chef and restaurateur Rick Stein, will be opening Rick Stein at Bannisters Restaurant in the heart of Port Stephens later this year following a grant from the NSW Government.
Port Stephens Duty MLC, Catherine Cusack said Salamander Properties had secured $150,000 from the Regional Tourism Fund, which is managed by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, to open the new restaurant.
“Rick Stein at Bannisters Mollymook has been a huge success story, attracting visitors from right across the globe to taste Australia’s fresh local seafood and we’re delighted that the Bannisters experience will be available for visitors to beautiful Port Stephens,” Ms Cusack said.
This week News Of The Area took an exclusive back scenes tour of the facility with Bannisters, General Manager Peter Bacon and Alice O’Hara with Duty MLC Catherine Cussack, Liberal Party Candidate Jaimie Abbott and Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer.
Peter Bacon told News Of The Area, “There are now 102 jobs at Bannisters, and there will be 150 by November, in December and January we expect to have a team of 180 to 200 staff working at the property.
The renovations have been innovative and feature a large spacious lobby area, infinity pool and of course Rick Stein the restaurant.
The property is fully accessible.
The Rick Stein Restaurant will see diners viewing the chefs at work and while there are tables for reservation there is also a long chefs table for diners to enjoy.
The restaurant has the capacity to seat 178 diners, plus a large eat at bar where diners will be able to enjoy fresh shucked oysters and shichimi.
“The kitchens already employ 5 apprentices, with almost 80% of staff employed being locals, including the retention of existing staff, some of whom have spent time training at Mollymook ” he said.
The menu features an illustration of a blue swimmer crab which was hand drawn by a 13 year old boy, the original will be on the wall at the restaurants entry.
Catherine Cusack said, “This venue is transformative for the industry.”
The facility is about to undergo a soft opening with the official opening scheduled for November 2018.
The pub at the venue is set to be renovated, as well but will remain open throughout the upgrades.
By Marian SAMPSON