Valley view to dine for at Clarence View Bar and Grill
THE latest Grafton eatery to open its doors has done what few before it have managed: take advantage of the $1million dollar views of the Clarence River.
The Clarence View Bar and Grill, which officially opened for business on Saturday in the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club, has unashamedly set itself up to showcase the view of the river and Susan Island.
Restaurant owner Tony Kourahanis said the view of the river from the dining room was the clincher for him when club management invited him to take over its restaurant.
Mr Kourahanis was happily operating the restaurant in the Narrabri RSL when the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club came calling.
"The first time I told them I wasn't interested," Mr Kourahanis said.
"When they asked me a second time, I said I would come and take a look."
He was hooked as soon as he saw what he had to work with.
From there he set to work assembling a competent team to create the first a la carte dining room to operate out of the club. He contacted a mate, Roy Szymanksi, who had worked with him for years in the restaurant trade and who was head chef at a hotel/casino in Hobart.
"I had been Tony's head chef for 15 years before, " Mr Szymanski said.
"So when he called I had no hesitation in saying yes to work in this venture with him
"After a few winters down there I didn't take a lot of convincing to come up to the NSW North Coast."
Mr Szymanski will manage the establishment, fulfilling his wish to step back from the cooking side of the business.
The pair have hired local chef Catherine Moloney to head up the team in thekitchen.
Ms Moloney has worked in several establishments around the Valley and is keen to establish the reputation of the Clarence View Bar and Grill.