ON THE MONEY
Story: Christopher Holder
Miss Moneypenny’s Broadbeach:
50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach QLD
(07) 5655 0785 or missmoneypennysbroadbeach.com
It’s been the quintessential lifestyle venue in Australia’s quintessential lifestyle town.
Miss Moneypenny’s Noosa, isn’t just a cool place to meet friends, have a drink and enjoy great food, there’s a deeper connection there; it’s a brand that cashed-up coast-ers want to be aligned with. Whether they’ve wandered in for a snack and a cocktail after a long hard day on the yacht, or if they’re celebrating a special occasion with their friends, Miss Moneypenny’s makes people feel good.
Opening a Miss Moneypenny’s on the Gold Coast might not seem like a huge leap of (hospitality) faith, but as any resident of South East Queensland will tell you, the two hotspots are in many ways poles apart and need a deft touch to get the pitch right.
“It’ll be interesting to see how things go in December and January,” muses Miss Moneypenny’s boss Ben Walsh. “Noosa goes ballistic in January and is comparatively quiet in December. I gather the reverse is true on the Gold Coast.”
Ben Walsh is Miss Moneypenny’s founder and brand custodian. He understands what his clientele wants and how to continue to surprise and delight them, ensuring their loyalty. At Noosa, Ben has managed to pull off one of the trickiest of hospitality feats with an all-day venue that captures true Australian egalitarianism — ‘dressed down chill’ effortlessly mixes with ’dressed to the nines’ glam in the one venue. Fine-tuning the recipe for the Gold Coast venture will take some time but all the signs are there.
The location is a little different: it’s off the beach for starters. Part of the Avani hotel site, Miss Moneypenny’s is a destination rather than a stroll over the promenade. The sense was, the fitout needed to be of a superior level as reward.
“I’d say the Gold Coast fitout is three times more opulent than the original Noosa Miss Moneypenny’s,” observes Paul Kelly. Paul should know, he designed the Noosa venue, and was invited by Ben Walsh to reprise his efforts.
“We’re a little set back from the beach and as a result we really pushed a lot harder with the quality of the fitout and the concepts.”
The ‘concepts’ Paul refers to is the delineation of the site into a sports bar and gaming venue next door, Fat Freddy’s; Miss Moneypenny’s itself, and the private dining and function room, The Rimini Room at the back of the site.
“The lease came with a 38-machine gaming license, and Fat Freddy’s was the perfect way of accommodating the gaming,” explains Ben Walsh. “We opened Fat Freddy’s up a few months earlier and it’s proving to be very popular. Now we have Miss Moneypenny’s launched, the public don’t connect the two venues at all — they’re entirely different concepts.”
The Broadbeach site is big — 2000sqm, in fact. And with an enormous 750sqm dining room, food is a huge priority. Ben Walsh attracted some top-draw talent in chef Braden White (Brisbane’s Stokehouse Q, The Apo and Noosa’s Ricky’s River Bar and Restaurant). Braden has most recently returned from a stint in Bali where he oversaw a portfolio of venues for 8 Degree Projects, including Sisterfields, BO$$ MAN, Sibling, and fine diner Bikini.
“ The a la carte food is definitely of a two hat standard with Braden in the kitchen,” enthuses Ben Walsh. “But we also have a more casual offering. The best way to describe it is ’casual sophistication’.”
The Rimini Room provides a 200-seat overflow if required but is designed more as a private dining and events space.
“You might expect the ‘function space’ to be less well-appointed,” observes Paul Kelly. “But The Rimini Room is very opulent. The look and feel is similar to the main dining room but with access to your own bar, staff, food and lift entrance, there’s a real VIP quality to the space.”
PEOPLE LOOKING THEIR BEST
Fans of Miss Moneypenny’s Noosa will instantly find a lot that’s familiar in the new location but there are some key differences. The fitout really is a cut above with its layering and attention to detail. The lighting is next-level as well. Everything about the Broadbeach iteration is just a little brighter in contrast to the moodier Noosa realisation.
“It’s very comfortable to the eye,” according to Paul Kelly. “It allows the people in the space to shine as opposed to the venue shining. That approach is a little more unique to the Gold Coast. You’ve spent the day on the beach, you’re full of vitamin D and you want a bar or restaurant that makes you look as great as you feel. This really informed our colour palette and our lighting choices — the peach tones and the colour temperature of the lighting. People in the venue look their best.”
Unita took care of the build with Paul Kelly Design in charge of the interiors. The combination proved to be a good experience for Ben Walsh: “It was my first experience working with Unita and their guys on the ground were excellent to deal with — great attention to detail, great responsiveness and they worked well with Paul.
“I’ve known Paul for many years and worked with him on a number of projects including in Noosa. The good thing about working with Paul is we’re on a very similar wavelength. He understands me, I understand him. So we probably cut out a hellavu lot of hours of going to and fro. I’m very particular about what I want and, with Paul, we get where we want to be really quickly because we both have a very, very clear mutual understanding.”
POWDER ROOM PROWESS
Time will tell if the Gold Coast embraces Miss Moneypenny’s in the same way as Noosa does. Ben Walsh is a savvy operator and has a plethora of levers he’s happy to pull to fine tune the offering. Paul Kelly feels they’ve nailed it from a look and layout perspective, describing the manner in which the venue functions and flows as some of his best work. Certainly the level and layering of the finish is exceptional, the equal of anything in Australia.
But the coup de grace, the glacé cherry, the mother-of-pearl powderpuff, are the ladies’ bathrooms. For a venue of this capacity the bathrooms are overkill. But like a complimentary magnum of champagne or a duty-free litre-sized flask of Chanel No.5… it’s delightful and oh-so-very welcome.
Paul Kelly Design: (02) 9660 8299 or paulkellydesign.com.au