LUXURY STYLE: Karla McPhail says the The Rocks Restaurant and Bar offers a slice of Morocco.
LUXURY STYLE: Karla McPhail says the The Rocks Restaurant and Bar offers a slice of Morocco.

Opening for new Yeppoon restaurant revealed

THE public has been waiting with bated breath and now Yeppoon Lagoon's upstairs restaurant is almost ready for business.

Karla McPhail of The Rocks Restaurant and Bar spoke with The Morning Bulletin on Monday and said they were just finishing a few things in the restaurant.

The bar will have a soft opening next week in the evenings from Tuesday, April 9 until Thursday, April 11 and again in the following week from Tuesday to Thursday, April 16 to 18.

Over the space of two weeks they will ask for customer feedback and work out all the kinks before they open fully.

The plan is to open the bar on the Easter long weekend and the restaurant will open after Easter.

Food will still be served from the cafe downstairs while the restaurant is closed.

The style of the space is Moroccan with beach and bohemian vibes.

The seating area in the bar is perfect for ladies night or a wine after work.
The seating area in the bar is perfect for ladies night or a wine after work. Vanessa Jarrett

Ms McPhail made a point of creating a design that would cater for the female market, an area she believes is not yet met in the region.

"It means the bar is really luxurious but there is a male drinking space at the front of the bar as well,” she said.

"We wanted it to be a really relaxed but fun experience and the view is amazing too, so we have worked really hard to complement it.”

Coming from the business side of things, working in hospitality was something new for Ms McPhail and she has learned a lot along the way.

Planning the design, they went through many style options.

The design of the roof and the environment was important as was the way sound would travel.

The bar is a focal point of the space with luxurious features.
The bar is a focal point of the space with luxurious features. Vanessa Jarrett

The build has been 100 per cent supported by local builders and Ms McPhail said she couldn't fault them.

"It has been the most awesome support and they have been really good help with the design with giving us ideas,”she said.

"I went to local tradies and said what I wanted and they said 'oh that is going to be a bit complicated' but they have all stepped up and done an incredible job.”

The Rocks Coffee Shop and Milk Bar downstairs opened in May last year and employs 40.

At first Ms McPhail was frustrated at not opening the two spaces together but, in hindsight, she said it had been a great learning curve doing it step by step.

"We have learnt so much from operating downstairs and it's helped us to build better upstairs,” she said. "We have a much better understanding of the tourist market and the local market.”

THREE CHEERS: The Rocks Restaurant and Bar at the Yeppoon Lagoon features a Morrocan design style with luxurious touches of gold and turqouise mixed with the glamorous tiles and velvet tones.
THREE CHEERS: The Rocks Restaurant and Bar at the Yeppoon Lagoon features a Morrocan design style with luxurious touches of gold and turqouise mixed with the glamorous tiles and velvet tones. Vanessa Jarrett

A number of factors held up the opening, including the complicated build which was changed halfway through, approvals, licences and compliance issues.

Now that it has all come to fruition, Ms McPhail can't wait to share it with locals and visitors.

"I think it will complement everything that is along the coast, I think it will create a great destination,” she said.

"The attendance at the lagoon is mind-blowing,” she said. "I don't think anyone could have imagined the numbers we have and the feedback from people visiting the region. I think we have changed the whole entire energy of the coast with the lagoon, it's complemented everything here.

"Opening this will only value add to that.”

The restaurant is already taking bookings for conferences, club break-ups, community group functions, events and occasions.

The space won't be open for lunch early in the week but will be used as a training hub instead.

They will deliver hospitality courses from barista, RSA, RSG, safe handling foods, first aid and also certificates in tourism and retail.

"I don't want to take the business away from already established places,” Ms McPhail said.

THE ROCKS RESTAURANT AND BAR

  • Bar side opening next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
  • Restaurant to open after Easter with an official launch
  • Menu to include buffet breakfast, unlimited seafood smorgasbord, taste plate evenings and theme nights
  • Upstairs at Yeppoon Lagoon
  • Available for hire for private functions


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