Tavern to revamp night life
SUNSHINE Coast hospitality entrepreneur Clayton Williams has joined financial forces with a group of high-profile investors to buy the Duporth Tavern.
Mr Williams is the director of rawGroup, which also owns Beach House Bar and Grill outlets at Westfield Garden City, the Myer centre in the Brisbane CBD, Chermside, Stafford and the Sunshine Plaza as well as Mooloolaba’s Bar 240V.
The investment syndicate is made up of former chief executive of APN Australian Publishing Mark Jamieson, real estate icon Ken Guy and businessmen Ron Milne and Doug Meecham.
They are known by an acronym representing the first letters of their first names, MKRD, and they took over on March 12.
“I was going to buy the Duporth Tavern with Ken and Harry Reed,” Mr Williams said.
“I am involved in a pub with Ken Reed at Hervey Bay and we were looking to purchase the (Maroochydore) pub together, but a few things changed in the marketplace and Ken Reed kindly introduced me to the MKRD boys.
“It’s a joint venture and I’m the major personal shareholder, so I’ve put my money where my mouth is. I’m holding the biggest personal stake in the venture so I am going to make sure we make a go of it.”
Mr Williams said he was now focusing on plans to revamp the Duporth Avenue venue.
“We are going to create a venue with quality food, live entertainment and a family friendly environment. We have great pizzas, a new sports bar, lounge, pool room and kids room.
“With Purple Palate bottle shop opening recently, we are differentiating ourselves from the Woolworths-owned hotels to create a destinational hospitality venue that the Sunshine Coast is crying out for.”
Mr Williams is particularly driven by a desire to offer something different to the Coast hospitality sector.
“We want to differentiate ourselves from MGW, which is Woolworths, who control so much of the marketplace,” he said.
“I’m passionate about the hospitality industry and passionate about giving people an option different to the big boys.
“I’m a local guy and I want to give people a local option. When they come into our business I want to give them something different.
“That’s what drives me. I’m the little Aussie battler who’s fighting against the big multinationals.” rawGroup has a number of divisions covering consulting, licensing, construction and management.
“We do everything in house,” the father-of-two said.
“We source the venue, open the venue, build and construct and manage the huge amount of legislation covering the liquor industry.
“My partner in rawGroup is a lawyer and accountant. I enjoy creating the concept and driving the business. Our business is about partnering with industry professionals and having key like-minded people on board.
“At Bar 240V for example, people like Kara Davis, or Andrew Watson at Beach House Bar and Grill or Alan Caples, a great young manager on the way up who we have just uncovered and employed at Duporth.”