Townsville felt like it lost an old friend when classic dining and entertainment destination, The Quarterdeck closed its doors all those years ago. But now the iconic restaurant is coming back, and she is bringing a brand new style so Townsville diners can fall in love all over again.
Do you remember the old Quarterdeck Restaurant and Bar?
Opposite what was then the Sheraton Hotel & Casino (succeeded by Jupiters) and overlooking Cleveland Bay, it was a regular afternoon (and almost always, very late evening) hotspot for all ages, boasting a laid-back atmosphere, great food, beverages at non-bank-breaking prices, live music, a pumping dancefloor, pool tables and vast decking space – all with a great view to boot. What a time to be alive.
If you are under the age of 30, you may struggle to claw back the memories of this (now historical) Townsville icon, as it permanently shut its doors in 2004, much to the dismay of many a local socialite.
But the beauty of permanency is that it’s relatively subjective. And that’s great news for those locals with fond memories of what was one of the best Townsville food and entertainment spots of its time.
The Ville Resort-Casino is bringing back the Quarterdeck. And it’s doing so before Christmas, as part of a major $40 million redevelopment which will see a raft of new dining destinations and improvements on existing favourites.
The development will see the Quarterdeck recreated and reimagined, in a new location at the back of the property to take advantage of the uninterrupted ocean and Magnetic Island views.
It will boast a 330 seat capacity restaurant, large dance floor, impressive drinks list and relaxed casual dining with a unique North Queensland vibe.
“Imagine relaxing with friends or family on a sunny afternoon, a chilled bottle of wine and tapas delights before you or an ice cold beer in hand as you gaze east to the island,” Brent Clark, Hotel / Food and Beverage General Manager said.
Locals will celebrate the return of this Townsville icon in its all-new incarnation, while visitors will enjoy another perfect day in paradise overlooking the Ville’s sparkling Infinity Pool, sipping cool drinks and sampling the freshest food from the Tropics.
WHAT CAN DINERS EXPECT?
As we have already reminisced, the original Quarterdeck was a family favourite, with hearty meals, live entertainment and plenty of atmosphere for punters of all ages to soak in.
Nothing will change on that front, but the calibre of dining will certainly be ratcheted up several notches.
The Quarterdeck will focus largely on gastro pub-style food, including favourites like sticky pork ribs, burgers, steaks, soft shell tacos, seasonal salads and seafood towers.
There will also be specialty items using locally sourced produce. How does sand crab and basil bruschetta sound as a teaser for what you can expect?
Sticky chipotle and plum free-range pork ribs and gourmet house made pizzas are some other early menu items you can look forward to.
But the hero dish will be the seafood tower, which will boast a generous combination of locally sourced, hot and cold seafood, enticing to the biggest of seafood fans – and all caught in our own backyard.
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
DON’T FORGET THE DRINKS
The new Quarterdeck is operating under the slogan ‘cocktails and dreams’, promising to serve up delicious and uniquely North Queensland beverages.
The bar will have extensive wine and beer options, but it is the cocktail menu that is sure to be the big winner.
All of the concoctions will have North Queensland themes and feature some of the best ingredients sourced from our local region.
ATMOSPHERE AND ENTERTAINMENT
One of the biggest selling points of the old Quarterdeck was its location and entertainment. Those selling points will not only be retained, but enhanced in a big way.
With its sweeping balcony, glamorous wrap-around bar and an abundance of comfortable lounge settings and tables, the Quarterdeck is the perfect place to come out and play on a Saturday, or just watch the palms sway to the sounds of a Sunday chill-out session.
The venue will include views across the Infinity Pool to the Coral Sea and Magnetic Island, with two large screens for live sports and events as well as regular live music from bands, local artists and DJs… dancefloor and all.
KEEPING IT LOCAL
The Ville Resort-Casino knows the importance of keeping everything local and has a dedicated team of chefs who will source as many menu items locally as possible.
“This not only helps out the local farms but stimulates our economy and we are all about keeping it local,” Brent said.
The redevelopment will bring the total number of locals employed to over 400, another major win for the local community and making The Ville Resort-Casino the largest employer of chefs and hospitality workers in the region.
THE TEAM BEHIND THE REVIVAL
The dynamic duo bringing The Quarterdeck to life is Executive Chef Nicholas Redsell and newly appointed Venue Manager Simon Barns.
Simon has moved up from the Gold Coast and brings with him a wealth of knowledge in the industry, while Nicholas boasts an impressive resume, having already worked in many 5-star venues across Australia (most recently, as the Executive Chef at Peppers Blue on Blue on Magnetic Island). Needless to say, he understands the North Queensland lifestyle and how important food is to us. Together, they are assembling their teams to bring the Quarterdeck to life.
WHAT ELSE WILL THE REDEVELOPMENT DELIVER?
The Quarterdeck is just one hero among the new venue options at The Ville, but there is plenty of new and improved dining experiences on the menu.
That includes stage two of the relatively newly opened Asian fusion restaurant Miss Songs, which takes diners on a journey across the Orient. The restaurant will be further expanded before Christmas, giving diners an even more immersive Asian experience while gazing over the pristine waters of the bay to Magnetic Island.
In the near year, punters can also look forward to a new functions space in The Pavilion, as well as a swim up bar and a total revamp of Townsville’s favourite buffet, Aqua – which will transform into The Palm House in early 2018.
Brent said this redevelopment was part of the greater Townsville landscape, where dining experiences are matching it with the best options in southeast Queensland.
“At the moment, the food scene in Townsville is changing, we’re proving that we can mix it with the Southerners and we have some really trendy restaurants and bars opening up around the place,” he said.
“Miss Songs, The Quarterdeck and Splash Bar will help to drive that transformation.”
Imagine relaxing with friends or family on a sunny afternoon, a chilled bottle of wine and tapas delights before you or an ice cold beer in hand as you gaze east to the island. With its sweeping balcony, glamorous wrap-around bar and an abundance of comfortable lounge settings and tables, the Quarterdeck is the perfect place to come out and play on a Saturday, or just watch the palms sway to the sounds of a Sunday chill-out session.
The Ville Resort-Casino | Sir Leslie Thiess Dr, Townsville City | 07 4722 2333 | the-ville.com.au