Berardo’s on the Beach sold to Shane Harvey, renamed
FRESH, vibrant, fun and welcoming.
They're the words that Boardwalk Bistro on Hastings owner Shane Harvey chooses when asked to describe his eatery and bar, which has replaced Berardo's on the Beach on Hastings St, Noosa.
A Noosa businessman and president of the Hastings Street Association, Mr Harvey bought the restaurant in December last year from Greg O'Brien, the partner of former Noosa restaurateur Jim Berardo. The venue underwent a name change in March and a major internal refit started that month, Mr Harvey said.
Berardo's on the Beach was registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on May 27, 2015 - two days before Mr Berardo announced his company, Noosa Food and Wine Events, was being placed into voluntary administration. The sole shareholder of Berardo's on the Beach was Greg O'Brien. ASIC documents show Berardo's on the Beach was deregistered on February 11 this year.
The new venture has now been open for months and business is great, Mr Harvey says.
The beachfront restaurant has now had its role on Hastings St recast: visitors and locals are as welcome at the high-end fine diner.
"It's a bit more fun," Mr Harvey said. Customers could chill out there, enjoying the space and the view, he said.
It was also licenced until midnight and a new bar would soon be installed, as Mr Harvey rolls out his plan to attract a bigger evening trade.
"There's a big focus on seasonal produce and local ingredients - cooking ingredients in their natural state," Head chef Gene Quinlan said.
"There's such a great variety of producers close by so every time we can we try to support the local industries.
"Queensland's such a beautiful location you know, it really provides the inspiration for the direction we go to when we create the menu."
The most common remark of returning local customers was "now that Berardo's out of the factor, we'll come back", Mr Harvey said.
But Mr Harvey hasn't severed all ties with the former Berardo's on the Beach. He said its 27 staff were all retained, and outstanding superannuation was paid by Mr O'Brien after negotiation between both parties' lawyers.
Mr Harvey said he had also paid creditors who were still supplying the restaurant and were owed money by Berardo's on the Beach.
"We took on creditors that hadn't been paid," Mr Harvey said. "He (Mr O'Brien) still had some debts owing so we took that on.
"The thing is you go into a business like this and you can't hide behind one company...if you take over you can't leave those people out in the cold."
While he wouldn't be drawn to say how much he paid, he said it "certainly wasn't a small amount".
Mr Harvey said he was a creditor of Mr Berardo's former company Noosa Food and Wine Events and had considered legal action against him.
He rejected claims that as former Noosa International Food and Wine Festival operations manager, he was Mr Berardo's "right hand man".
"Jim would make a decision, and Shane would implement it," one Noosa Food and Wine Events creditor told the Daily on Thursday.
Mr Harvey said his relationship with Mr Berardo was a business one.
"He has a different way of doing business than I do," Mr Harvey said.
At Boardwalk Bistro on Hastings, all suppliers were paid within one day of delivering their invoice, he said.
"Everything's done on time," he said.
"It's an old-fashioned, common-sense way to do business. It's what I was taught to do growing up and it's stuck with me all the way through."
As reported in yesterday's Daily Mr Berardo and Mr O'Brien appear to have departed the Noosa dining scene and are living in Tuscany, Italy.