One of Batemans Bay’s most iconic restaurants has served its last drinks after more than a quarter of a century in business.
On the Pier closed its doors on January 26 as development for the new Batemans Bay Bridge gets underway.
The award-winning restaurant, located in the Bay’s former punt house, served up local produce for 26 years, initially trading as Jamesons on the Pier from 1992 before changing hands and becoming On the Pier in 2002.
Business partner Belinda Whiteman said the restaurant’s closure marked the end of an era.
“It’s the end of a big era for Batemans Bay,” Ms Whiteman said.
“We were known as the events restaurant in town where people came when they had an occasion.
“We got to be a part of weddings, anniversarys, birthdays, christenings, wakes and the disposal of ashes.”
Ms Whiteman headed up the business for 16 years with partners Simon Whiteman and Brendan McClelland.
We were known as the events restaurant in town where people came when they had an occasion.Belinda Whiteman
Her journey with the restaurant began in 1996 when she was employed as an apprentice chef.
“In the early days it was predominantly a seafood restaurant and then trends changed, so we went with the times and went from fine dining to casual,” she said.
“We wanted to use more local produce and support the people around town.”
She said the highlight of her On the Pier journey was being able to celebrate the special moments with her guests.
“It was like being at a party every weekend with an amazing backdrop and great staff,” she said.
“Being able to create functions, employ locals, apprentices and wait staff and bring young kids through, was definitely a highlight.”
On the Pier marked its final day of trade on Australia Day in the only way they knew how – a party.
Speaking to the Bay Post last June, owner Alan Imrie said he planned to retain the lease and reopen as a wedding venue upon the bridge’s completion.
The Whitemans plan to focus on family. “Now it’s time to build a bridge and get over it,” Ms Whiteman said wryly.