Saltbar Beachbar and Bistro assistant manager Simon McFle feels at home behind the watering hole's new bar.
Saltbar Beachbar and Bistro assistant manager Simon McFle feels at home behind the watering hole's new bar. Crystal Spencer/Tweed Daily News

Saltbar facelift great for families

THE $750,000 facelift of the Saltbar Beachbar and Bistro has been given the thumbs up by locals, with the Salt Village watering hole having one of its busiest nights when it reopened last Friday night.

A new marble bar is a favourite with the locals according to Salt Village operations manager Matt Newberry, but the family-friendly changes to the pub's menu and play areas will be the big drawcard.

“Ours is a family market, particularly on rainy days when the families staying at the nearby resorts are looking for something to do with the kids,” Mr Newberry said.

“We are also really popular with local families, which is why we have expanded the kids play area and have made it about four times the size of the old play area.

“The new play area will be both indoor and outdoor and we have a special kids' climbing frame on order from Europe, and it should be installed within the next six weeks.

“We have also expanded and changed the kids' food menu.”

Another big plus for parents is an expanded children's menu that includes healthy and vegetarian options as well as the usual “nuggets and chips”, Mr Newberry said.

“We have also overhauled our menu which the locals and regulars say they like,” he said.

“Our wine list is also a lot more expansive and includes more boutique varieties served by the bottle or glass.”

Weddings are big business for both Mantra and Peppers resorts at Salt, and to capture part of this lucrative market, as well as cater to the growing demand for function facilities on the Tweed, the revamp will allow greater flexibility in the layout of the pub.

“We can now separate half of the deck for private functions, which also allows locals to be able to enjoy the deck as well,” Mr Newberry said.

“From my understanding, this flexibility will make us the only oceanfront function facility on the coast?

“Our first weddings are already booked for November and we have several bookings for smaller corporate functions.”

The overhaul of the Saltbar is part of a rethink of the use of the retail and commercial space at Salt Village by its developers, the Ray Group.

“Most of our new office tenants have moved in and we are starting a fitout of the two offices that have yet to be leased in the next month,” Mr Newberry said.

“We have had a large amount of enquiry for the remaining tenancies and are just going through the selection process.”

Meanwhile, work has begun on fitting out Fin's restaurant owner Steven Snow's new venture, Mediterranean restaurant Bellini, and gelataria and cafe Piccolo.

“Area One hairdresser is also in the process of relocating, so there is a lot happening at the moment,” Mr Newberry said.

“We aim to have all work completed by the September school holidays.”

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