Portside staff (L) Taylah Berry and Marta Hackett display drinks and paella con pollo. Photo: Stuart Fast
Portside staff (L) Taylah Berry and Marta Hackett display drinks and paella con pollo. Photo: Stuart Fast

How restaurant is bouncing back after Covid closure

ONE of Maryborough's best-known heritage buildings is buzzing again as the popular eatery within its walls serves up comfort food with a fine-dining twist. 

In the heart of the Wharf St riverside precinct, Portside Cafe and Restaurant boasts a Mexican/Californian inspired menu featuring everything from stuffed jalapeños to southern fried chicken waffles.

CALIFORNIA WAFFLES: Belgian waffles topped with southern fried chicken, locally smoked thick cut bacon, maple syrup and ice cream.
CALIFORNIA WAFFLES: Belgian waffles topped with southern fried chicken, locally smoked thick cut bacon, maple syrup and ice cream. Jessica Grewal

After 10 weeks of uncertainty, owner Fran Hackett was nervous about what eased restrictions would bring but yesterday she was happy to report business had been "amazing".

She said the restaurant had received a lot of support since reopening from locals and Queensland tourists travelling to Heritage City.

"The tourists love Maryborough," she said.

Jalape o Poppers at Portside Caf and Restaurant.
Jalapeno poppers at Portside. Jessica Grewal

Worries about not being able to give existing staff enough hours have not only been quashed, she's had to hire four new team members.

Aware restrictions could return should Queensland cases start to rise again, the Portside team has developed an action plan just in case.

Ms Hackett said the team took food safety and cleanliness very seriously with staff regularly sanitising menus and other items.

She believed people kept coming back to the restaurant because of the quality of food, the use of local produce and good service.

"Its not just eating, its an experience," Ms Hackett said.

Chef's cheese selection at Portside Caf & Restaurant
Chef's cheese selection at Portside Cafe & Restaurant. Jessica Grewal