Rusty Gate Grove to relaunch in Childers

Rusty Gate Grove to relaunch in Childers

8 Sep, 2022 | Entertainment

Two businessman and a former Michelin-star restaurant chef have joined forces in Childers, much to the excitement of Burnett foodies.

Nicole Strathdee Journalist

September 6, 2022 – 5:00AM

A joint venture between 2 businessmen is aiming to put Childers on the map as the premier destination for weddings, events and quality dining with Rusty Gate Grove.

After previous owners closed the establishment due to difficulties finding staff amid Covid-19 restrictions, Childers’ locals anguished at losing their second-to-none dining destination.

With these restrictions now lessening, the businessmen saw an opportunity to reinvent the stunning location into something new.

With over two decades of experience in business, the Brisbane-based entrepreneur also saw it as a chance to return to community values after being raised in the region.

“It was too beautiful to pass up,” he said.

“I couldn’t allow it to sit here and not be open anymore,

“I wanted to get it open for the community.”

A stunning location indeed, perched high the 5ha of Rusty Grove offers impressive views over local farmland and is dotted with vintage machinery and blooming native plants.

The beauty of the area is what they intend to capitalise on, as they and their venue manager Geoffrey Souaillat plan to fill the gap in high quality wedding venues north of the Sunshine Coast.

“With venues closing due to Covid, a lot of people were going overseas to get married and we think we can drag a lot of people up from the Gold Coast and down from Rockhampton for weddings,” he said.

Mr Souaillat also has big plans for the space, including boutique coffee, wine tours, live music nights, outdoor cinemas, glamping and accommodation.

Mr Souaillat hopes through offering accommodation on site, travellers will be encouraged to stop and spend more time in the area.

As a French expat, Mr Souaillat’s experience and background in the hospitality industry, including Michelin star establishments, will provide the Rusty Gate Grove a good launching point for future success.

He is working hard with local suppliers to meet any demands that can’t be filled by the business’s own homegrown fruits, vegetables and wines.

“We have a great region, it would be shameful to not work locally,” Mr Souaillat said.

The biggest challenge facing the launch of the restaurant so far has been the region-wide struggle to find staff.

“It is hard for everybody,” Mr Souaillat said.

“It is even harder for any tourism venues,.Covid didn’t help with a lot of experienced backpackers and sponsored workers having to return home after a few years.”

“However, we have a very welcoming community, at least we are welcome,” he said.

Rusty Gate Grove Bar and Winery is optimistically aiming for a soft launch on September 15, 2022, and a grand re-opening on September 30, which will include breakfast and lunches daily and evening meals on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.