Out with the Meatery restaurant, in with Steamers Bar and Grill.
The dramatic, $1.3 million renovation of the diner, in Wollongong’s City Beach building, opened on Friday afternoon – less than a fortnight after work began.
At the centre of the new-look restaurant is a hanging reclaimed row boat – a nod to Wollongong’s industrial era when steam boats serviced the coast in the 1800s.
The boat also has lighting that’s reminiscent of what one might have seen on the steam boats from which the restaurant takes its name.
The new venue features three separate dining spaces, including a bar area with high brushed aluminium steel tables, a casual area with mismatched furniture in stormy blues and greys, and another that has different sized uneven wooden tables.
As for what’s on the menu, owner Jim Eddy said the restaurant was about organic, Illawarra-sourced produce.
“This is the way we like to eat at home,” Mr Eddy said.
“We’re champions of the farm-to-fork movement and wanted to see how this would translate in a restaurant capacity.”
Steamers Bar and Grill is the latest venture for Mr Eddy – of the Jamberoo Action Park empire – who leases the oceanside City Beach building with Caroline Brinsmead. Mr Eddy and Ms Brinsmead bought the lease of the building from its developers, Tass and Michael Kollaras just over a year ago.
The restaurant is the fourth to attempt success inside the troubled venue in 13 years.
The new leaseholders have also planned external works, including a coloured light installation that will illuminate the building’s jutting out “fins”.