It's been a year since fire destroyed the beloved Blue Fox Bar and Kitchen forcing its closure and renovations.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
After almost three years in business at the time, it was a devastating blow to owner Kat Alexander and her daughters Holly and Laura.
Little did this mother-daughter-sister trio know, it would be the first of many bumps in the road with COVID-19 causing more chaos.
But with resilience and community support The Blue Fox reopened its rustic doors on Wednesday, October 29.
Venue manager Holly Vatalis said in the few days of being open, it's been tough getting back into the swing of things.
"It's been great, we've limited bookings so everybody can find their feet because you know, we've been out of the game for a bit," she said.
"Also with COVID restrictions we can't fit as many people inside as we'd like to," she said.
The restaurant has kept the same layout and Ms Vatalis said they were lucky to have minimal structural damage from the fire.
"All the walls, the beautiful old brick walls and the bar was fine but we've got a brand new roof, ceiling, kitchen and bathrooms," she said.
"We used to have pressed metal in one room but we've changed it up so it flows across and we also have central heating now."
She said the courtyard would be opening soon with just a few more finishing touches to add.
Diners can expect a shared menu heading into the warmer months, Ms Vatalis said.
"We're focusing a bit more on the sharing side especially going into Summer.
"I feel it's such a lovely way to eat with your friends and your family, talking over food," she said.
Ms Vatalis said it had been quite the journey but The Blue Fox was excited to be back.
"We did have our pop up in Main Street early December last year and that was going really well but in March we went on our family holiday to Fiji and when we came back COVID was crazy and we had to quarantine," she said.
She said they decided to keep The Blue Fox side of things shut as there were plans for a July open.
"The builders at The Blue Fox said the building would be ready by July so we decided to keep closed until then but of course nothing goes to plan and here we are.
"But we are so happy to be back open," she said.
"This is like a part of us and our family. I don't think there's many mother-daughter-sister trios that work together every single day."
While also preparing for the grand reopening, the trio were busy running their sister business The Fast Fox.
"It's been hard juggling everything because The Fast Fox is open seven days a week now but me and my sister Laura, we share a lot of the work," Ms Vatalis said.
"You'll always see one of us at either place," she said.
Ms Vatalis wanted to thank her staff for their support in the business as well as the community and friends who have helped along the way.
"Everybody's amazing. At The Fast Fox at least one person a day comes in and asks when we are opening next door.
"We have such a loyal customer base of The Blue Fox and we've made so many friends through both businesses," she said.
"We can't wait for everyone to come in here [The Blue Fox]."
The Blue Fox will operate Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm to late. People are encouraged to call ahead and book to avoid missing out through The Blue Fox Facebook page or phoning 0472 638 997.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.