Just like the steaks they once served, business clubs of old are a rare thing, but as the working lunch returns, so too has the opportunity for smart venues to reinvent the option for an increasingly discerning audience.
Dooleys Waterview, in Silverwater, has decided to carve out an opportunity in the upper-end steak and seafood market at its revamped venue, Bar and Grill Waterview, in a bid to attract local business people. In addition to creating a more intimate venue at night, it also aims to retain the venue as a popular haunt for families on weekends.
“It meets a lot of current demands, and it also gives us an opportunity to try new things,” said Dooleys CEO, David Mantle, of Bar and Grill Waterview. “It may be a little bit more premium, but having said that, Dooleys Waterview has always been a little bit more premium.”
The single-level Club rests on the banks of the Parramatta River, on the edge of the busy Silverwater business and light industrial district, and is close to both Parramatta and the emerging residential communities of Newington and Homebush.
Patrons can now enjoy dishes such as Hawkesbury River loligo squid and grilled split bone marrow with herbed panko crust for entrees, or fresh Yamba prawn linguine, a 300g Westholme wagyu rump, grain-fed with a MBS of four to five, or crispy skin Coral Coast barramundi with a cauliflower puree and blistered cherry tomato, capers, dill and broccolini for mains. But that doesn’t mean regulars miss out on familiar favourites either, just elevated a little, such as free-range chicken breast schnitzel with panko crumb and a wagyu beef burger on Sonoma sesame milk bun.
Premium doesn’t mean overpriced, with entrees and mains for Guests comparable to regular restaurant offerings, but it absolutely makes sense for visitors to join Dooleys, as the savings offered on $10 for a five-year membership are pretty much immediate.
“We want it to be special, and for people to want to come back often,” said Mantle. “We have structured it so there are top-notch options on the menu as well as the classics done really well. Once the dust has settled and we have measured the success of our new offering, we will take some of the elements to our other venues (Dooleys Lidcombe and Regents Park).
While high-quality produce has been sourced by food & beverage manager Gaby Tannous, the dishes are executed by the deft hand of Dooleys head chef, Adrian Hofman. Meanwhile, general manager Tomasz Pytraczyk brings the sophistication of global experience to Dooleys Waterview, along with a customer-focused vision for Bar and Grill Waterview.
“It’s their baby,” said Mantle. “We spoke about the overall strategy and empowered the operational team and it has been theirs for three months now. The staff now own it, and have – through trial and error and collaboration, with all of the other operational staff and managers – been able to execute it really well.
“There is that advocacy, as they have lived and breathed it. They have been there from gestation to opening and there is a phenomenal amount of pride that goes into it, and what they have achieved.”
While the focus is on perfecting the offering, with point of difference wine-matching dinners on the agenda.
“There’s no point in having what everyone else is having, either,” says Mantle.
“There’s no point in having something that a customer is paying $10 for at a bottle shop, and we have it on the menu for $40. That’s not us.
“We will learn it, live it, finesse it and refine it. We want to be totally comfortable that we have nailed it.”
Like the steaks they once served, business clubs of old are a rare thing, but as the working lunch returns, so too has the opportunity for smart venues to reinvent the option for an increasingly discerning audience.