Pearl Café, a prestigious European-style bistro that set up shop in a niche hospitality neighborhood in Woolloongabba 14 years ago, has closed its doors for good.
Joint owners Andrew Watson and Laila Watson-Morovat, who only acquired the company last April, shared the bad news with shocked customers on Instagram this week.
No wonder the pandemic was the main culprit, but sadly the couple revealed that they also didn’t have access to government help to guide them through the troubled times.
« Unlike most of our competitors, we have not received any support from the federal government in the form of job keeper (sic) or cash flow bonuses since the start of the pandemic, as this was due to technical reasons when the company was purchased. » Posted.
« With little to no idea when the COVID restrictions will end (trading at 54% capacity before the January lockdown), we made the difficult commercial decision of ceasing trading and closing the deal permanently. »
Watson, who has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality game, declined to comment when City Beat called for a chat.
He previously worked at Baskin-Robbins and the Beach House Bar & Grill, and for more than a decade was Operations Manager at Raw Group, which operates a number of restaurants including Madame Wu and Chu The Phat in Brisbane.
Watson-Morovat, a current Suncorp employee who had previously worked at ANZ and Medibank, could not be reached.
The Pearl Café was opened in 2007 by original owner Dan Lewis and is located in a Grade II listed building on Logan Road across from the Gabba.
He later sold to Kiwi expat Manita Arnold, who took the venue to a new level before stepping out at the height of the pandemic last year
With exposed brick walls, bentwood chairs and wooden floors, the feeling of a cozy Parisian corner was awakened and the revitalization of the ancient shopping district into a drinking and dining center was stimulated.
The vibe was cute but it was the food that made people come back. Now there are only fond memories of dishes like fried scallops with roasted artichoke, twice-boiled duck with truffle potato mash and oxtail ragu on spelled pappardelle.
Could it all be revived? Watson is hoping someone will take over the lease so we’ll see what happens.
John Collins, the maestro of the Brisbane music hall, warned this week that his two outstanding joints are still having a hard time, despite glee in some media outlets that champions are flowing again in hotels across the city.
« Unfortunately, there is no champagne flowing in the Triffid or Fortitude Music Hall, while we are less than 20% busy, » the former powder finger bassist told his friends on Facebook.
« The venues are in no way back. It would be great to be in the media so the public could see the dire situation that live music venues are in. »
“I would eat the smallest amount and feel incredibly full. My parents thought I was pregnant and I was just waiting to tell them. »
Disgruntled business owners have labeled the Prime Minister’s claim « back to normal » and urged them to visit the places where some are « bleeding to death ».
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