The heartwarming story behind iconic Surfers Paradise Sandbar restaurant

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SANDBAR Surfers Paradise has been one of the Glitter Strip’s most popular venues for 20 years and as the owners look back on serving the thousands from around the world who have come through the doors, they’re gearing up for another 20.

The restaurant was first renowned for its “All You Can Eat Breakfast” but there has been another huge factor in its success — family.

Owners Jo-Anne and Greg Short first bought the business in 1988, with Greg making the switch from a long career in mechanical engineering.

“He was working down on the Central Coast as an engineer and we decided to pack up and move up here, I went back to TAFE at night to do travel and tourism,” Jo-Anne said.

“He always used to love doing up cars and I thought I’d go back to work, but it didn’t end up that way. The opportunity came up and we took it, and we’re still there.

“Our kids have grown up in it … and Greg learnt how to cook the best eggs, back of house and all the maintenance that comes with keeping a business together. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

The couple’s three children now help run the restaurant, working in management, branding and social media.

Son Jake Short, just seven-years-old when the business began, operates two of his own businesses in Bali, and helps his family between them. He said he had fond memories of Sandbar as an important part of his childhood.

“I remember being super young with my dad in the kitchen. He’s not a chef, he’s an engineer, but he was just cooking breakfasts, and my mum was in the restaurant,” he said.

“And I was just cracking eggs, that’s what I remember. They were both running the show with only one other staff member. It was pretty nuts.”

Since being reinvented in late 2016, the restaurant has stood the test of time. Now Jo-Anne says she believes it can last even longer.

“We established Sandbar with the tagline ‘Good times, all the time’ and our plan is to keep on providing a place for simple daily enjoyment, to make memories and create good times for another 20 years to come ” she said.

Oven Creative