Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Clau­dia Alp clau­dia.alp@ whit­sun­day­

WHEN Jane Pat­ter­son vis­ited her favourite cafe at Air­lie to see it had closed its doors, she de­cided to open her own in its place: and Cooks Bar and Grill was born.

“We’d never even stepped foot in the place when I signed the lease,” Ms Pat­ter­son said. “I didn’t need to. It was just where it was and my vi­sion.”

The café was a shell of its for­mer glory as Mr Bones when Ms Pat­ter­son signed the lease. That’s when the lo­cals stepped in.

Ms Pat­ter­son put an ad­ver­tise­ment on Face­book and of­fers poured in from lo­cal tradies and busi­nesses eager to lend their ex­per­tise.

The restau­rant owner has trav­elled ex­ten­sively and said both the theme of the restau­rant and its cui­sine were in­spired by her trav­els.

The rus­tic, farm­house style brings a tra­di­tional French fam­ily feel to the ta­ble en­cour­ag­ing an in­ter­ac­tive vibe through its size­able ta­bles.

“When you eat in France, the whole fam­ily sits around a big ta­ble and they’ll all grab off each other’s plates,” Ms Pat­ter­son said.

“They’ll spend a cou­ple of hours eat­ing a meal and drink­ing wine.”

De­spite Cooks join­ing numer­ous eater­ies in Air­lie, Ms Pat­ter­son says her menu has a com­pletely dif­fer­ent se­lec­tion of con­ti­nen­tal cuisines.

But Cooks may soon best be known for the ver­ti­cal skew­ers she sourced from Eng­land, pro­vid­ing a choice of meat, seafood or sea­son­able veg­eta­bles.

Cooks boasts one of the largest ve­gan and veg­e­tar­ian menus which Ms Pat­ter­son said was ex­tended sig­nif­i­cantly to pro­vide more op­tions to cus­tomers. To top it off, the menu is de­signed to be af­ford­able.

“Some­body can have a beau­ti­ful view and a beau­ti­ful meal but still be able to af­ford and en­joy the rest of their hol­i­day.”

Do you have a busi­ness story to tell? Email clau­dia.alp @whit­sun­day­


CAFE OPEN­ING: Barista An­drea Daly at the open­ing of Cooks Bar and Grill.

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