The Season For a Refresh

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

After sixteen years, one of Noosa’s most-loved restaurants was well overdue for a facelift – and lift it did. Deb Caruso finds out more.

As I catch up with Debbie Goodger from Season Restaurant Noosa, the paint has just dried on the recent refurbishment that has seen the beachfront dining institution demolished and repurposed into a sophisticated yet casual, dine-any-time destination.

Not that it never was, but the addition of a sweeping bar and opening up of the floorplan makes this iconic destination even more inviting. Whether it’s for casual catchups, a quick breakfast; linger-longer lunch; special
occasion dinner (who needs a reason?!); or cocktails at the stunning new bar, Season Restaurant has always been a winner with super friendly and knowledgeable staff, stunning views and food and wine menus that make your mouth water.

Owned by the Goodger family since 2003, Debbie Goodger said planning for the refurbishment started about two years ago with a very clear vision.

“After 16 years, we were due for a major refurbishment,” she said.

“We wanted the inside and outside to flow as one dining space with all-weather comfort the major priority.

“We envisaged a bar for casual drinking and good bar snacks that would see people walking straight off the beach and popping in for a drink or lazing the afternoon away at one of the outside tables.”

Also on the wishlist was a climate-controlled wine cellar, which has been incorporated the new bar layout; new floor
tiling, couches, outdoor ceiling fans, lighting and more – tick, tick, tick! New umbrella and blinds maintain the open feel of Season while offering stylish and essential protection from the elements.

The renovation is not drastic and the team has excelled in ensuring the space kept its familiarity while taking it to the next level, as they always do. Head Chef Andrew Tomlin was kept happy with an upgrade in the kitchen and the rest of the staff – most of whom, including Andrew, have been part of Season for more than 15 years – are loving the flow
from kitchen to table to bar.

To go with the cosmetic updates is an exciting new Bar Menu that is substantial in its offerings, available from noon until close and featuring stunning new dishes, such as the Spanner Crab Milk Bun, as well as firm favourites including the Grilled Prawn Taco and Duck Spring Rolls.

Andrew has always been committed to sourcing local, seasonal ingredients and allowing the ingredients to shine.
Some of his favourite supplies include the likes of Noosa Reds, Falls Farm and Forage Farms.

“We always have one dish that caters to all dietary requirements, including vegan, but most of the people want seafood,” he said.

“Our current vegan dish on the main has sold more than any vegetarian dish we have ever had.”

“People know what they want and with us, they mostly want seafood that has been sourced locally and expertly cooked. That is something our kitchen excels in,” Debbie said.

“I don’t know if diners are more adventurous but we don’t really cater to that. It’s not really us.”

The drinks list and cocktails have stepped up a level as well to take advantage of the new cellar and the staff knowledge continues to be second-to-none, having all experienced the menu and participating in wine tastings (purely for research).

“Nathan Reynolds, our General Manager and son-in-law has worked hard with our Bar Manager, Nathan Hedditch to come up with an awesome Cocktail list and very impressive Wine List,” Debbie said.

“Then we have Angela Bunz heading up the floor staff, and all of your favourite familiar faces are still there.”

The familiarity with staff is one of the things I love about Season and its great to see them revitalised by the new space and refreshed after taking time off during the seven-week renovation.

The coffee machine fires up at 6.30am with coffees and muffins before full service starts at 7.30am; lunch is from 12 noon with the bar menu also starting at that time and going through until close. Dinner is from 5pm with a more relaxed, stay longer, dress up (if you want) feel. You can wear shorts or a suit, dress up or down and bring the kids,
bring the grandparents; everyone is welcome.

For Debbie and David the thing they are most proud of is the staff.

“To retain our people for so long, we must be doing something right,” she said.

“We are like family and have been through special times together like marriages, watching kids grow up, it’s nice. We have total trust.”

Another thing that has meant a lot is the relationship they have with customers. Debbie said they have several customers who came to Season with their parents or got engaged at the restaurant and now they are parents themselves and are bringing their own children to the restaurant.

“We have a lot of loyal customers – local and tourists. Our staff know them, they are an extension of the venue and they grow with us. That’s the most important thing for us, it’s what we strive for,” she said.

Season Restaurant Noosa has been a mainstay on the Noosa dining scene with a prime waterfront location offering
beachfront dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

About the Author /

Deb has 25+ years' experience providing strategic communications and brand reputation advice to clients in the government, business and not-for-profit clients. She is passionate about Noosa and is an active member of her community, providing PR to Slow Food Noosa and other clients. Her passion lies in working with small businesses to help them succeed. She is planning to release the Tastes of Noosa cookbook with Matt Golinski in 2019.

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