03/12/2008 - 22:00

Gearing up for summer at The Breakwater

03/12/2008 - 22:00

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T HE ocean may be a major part of what makes the Perth lifestyle so attractive, but there seems to be a shortage of trendy, high capacity, upmarket hospitality venues using this great asset to complement their business.

Gearing up for summer at The Breakwater
BREAKING NEW GROUND: Sean Reid wants to transform Hillary’s Boat Harbour with The Breakwater to re-open this week. Photos: Grant Currall

THE ocean may be a major part of what makes the Perth lifestyle so attractive, but there seems to be a shortage of trendy, high capacity, upmarket hospitality venues using this great asset to complement their business.

And the success of venues such as the Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle has shown that a large venue that cleverly uses its coastal location will pull the crowds.

The reopening of the Breakwater Tavern in Hillary's Boat Harbour in the next few days as The Breakwater, therefore, is set to offer a new summer destination for northern suburbs locals and the many tourists who visit the busy precinct.

"We wanted to capitalise on the big number of tourists that we get here, which is similar to what Fremantle gets, so we built something with a design that suits the changing trends," The Breakwater owner Sean Reid told Gusto.

The Breakwater has a unique position surrounded by water in the newly finished Sorrento Key Development. It is open and oriented to the water views with a cutting-edge design.

The restaurant and bar, which will operate with a tavern licence, is part of a $20 million development by the Wyllie Group.

Mr Reid injected a further $7 million in the two-storey project for additional fittings including plumbing, electricity and the interior design of the venue.

The Reid family has owned the Breakwater Tavern for the past 20 years but decided to take the opportunity of the new development in the harbour to change the location and the style of their business.

One of six children, Mr Reid is now looking after the business and hopes to take it to a new level.

"The Breakwater Tavern has been in Hillary's for 20 years and was owned by my family most of that time. We got to a stage where the business had to be redeveloped and to move on from the traditional tavern set up, which includes a public bar, a lounge bar and a restaurant," Mr Reid says.

The Breakwater doesn't have a public bar; instead there is a large bar and restaurant area that seats 900 people downstairs opening onto spacious balconies with views on the harbour.

Upstairs, there are three different rooms: the Ishka Restaurant, which has its own kitchen; Reid's Lounge, which has an upmarket cocktail bar focus with more wine and spirits on offer; and the Akoya Suite, which is dedicated to functions and private events.

The entire venue seats 1,500 people.

Mr Reid says much of his inspiration for the new Breakwater came through his travels and from working in New York for five years.

Being in New York while the design of The Breakwater was drafted enabled him to feed the designers and architects with ideas from his contacts in the Big Apple.

"I lived in New York for five years and was over there when the opportunity [of a new venue] came up. The design was done when I wasn't here, which allowed me to keep my mind fresh because my point of reference wasn't Perth," he says.

Mr Reid transferred 70 of his staff from the old Breakwater tavern, and while the venue caters for a similar number of customers, he needs to appoint 40 additional staff for the new venue.

The Breakwater will be open seven days with an extended trading permit of one hour.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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