The Sandbar and Grill at Casuarina has closed its doors.
The Sandbar and Grill at Casuarina has closed its doors. Blainey Woodham

Sandbar and Grill closes

ONE of the Tweed Coast’s newest places to be seen – the Sandbar and Grill in the upmarket new township of Casuarina Beach – has suddenly closed.

The bar shut up shop on Thursday to the dismay of residents, raising concerns about the future of the long-awaited town centre development a kilometre away.

Yesterday Don O’Rorke, the managing director of Consolidated Properties which has been developing Casuarina Beach, confirmed the bar and restaurant had been shut, but added the adjacent general store and the gymnasium known as “The Rec Club” were still open.

He said the previous tenant of the Sandbar and Grill had “got into difficulties which culminated in us taking over that business midway through 2009”.

“Our take over was only of a short-term nature as our prime business is not restaurant operation,” Mr O’Rorke said.

“We are using the slower winter months to conduct a national search for a new, imaginative, energetic and innovative operator for the Sandbar facility.

“While the search continues we will keep open the general store as a service to the community and as an adjunct to the Rec Club.

“We expect to make an announcement appointing the new operators by the end of July.”

Mr O’Rorke said “only a couple of staff” had been laid off as some were continuing in the general store.

“During the winter the restaurant doesn’t trade very well anyway, and we haven’t, because it’s not our business, chased the function market,” he said.

Mr O’Rorke said the company was ready to proceed with construction of the planned Town Centre which would create many jobs.

“We are waiting for one more approval from the State Government for the easement which enables the drainage plan,” he said.

President of the Casuarina Residents’ Association Rob Bryant said it was a shock the bar and restaurant had closed, but locals had been unhappy with the way it had been run.

“They haven’t got the mix right between whether it’s a pub or a restaurant,” Mr Bryant said.

“With the right owner, the right level of service and the right product, the broader community would support it.”

Mr Bryant said it was “good news” that Consolidated Properties was seeking new operators.

Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase said he was disappointed the Sandbar had closed, but was still confident about the future of the planned Casuarina Town Centre following talks with Mr O’Rorke on Thursday.

“The restaurant trade is extremely difficult,” Cr Polglase said.

“I don’t think the disposable income to pay $30 for a main meal is there any more.”

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