New look for The Ox ahead of ‘soft opening’

Published 9:03am 28 May 2024

New look for The Ox ahead of ‘soft opening’
Words by Kylie Knight

The Ox is a venue with a deep connection to the Peninsula community, so there’s plenty of excitement ahead of its ‘soft reopening’ as a tavern on Friday.

Moreton Daily had a sneak peek at the reimagined venue as tradies were adding the finishing touches to the new fit-out yesterday.

The building has been transformed inside to reveal a striking open-plan bar and bistro, designed to create areas for sports fans, cocktail connoisseurs and diners. There is also a separate gaming room with 25 machines.

The exterior has been painted and new signage will be installed in the coming weeks.

The Ox, formerly The Golden Ox, is now owned by Star Hotels which is the family-owned business of Steven Shoobridge.

Senior Venue Manager/Business Coach Anita Ballinger looks after The Ox and another venue on the Sunshine Coast.

“It (The Ox) was such a strong name in the community and we didn’t want to take away from people’s memory of what it was. We’ve reinvented it, but we wanted for the community to know that it is still The Ox and it will still create its own reputation for great customer service and a great experience,” Anita explains.

“Keeping the name The Ox was imperative for us to make that connection to the community to say we’re here, we reinvented it but it’s still going to be great customer service.”

She’s hoping the venue will become the ‘new local’ for Peninsula residents.

“We’re a small tavern. We want to focus on the locals, we want to focus on families in the bistro area and create a sports ambience in the bar. We’re catering for all of the community and we’re not trying to compete with the big dogs. We’re doing what we do for the locals,” Anita says.

“We’re here to cater for families, for a night out if you want to come with hubby and you want a casual dinner, if you want to come and watch the footy … whatever it may be.

“It’s not a tourist pub, it’s not where someone is going to come and have water views, so we have to do everything else 1000 per cent. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

New look for The Ox ahead of ‘soft opening’

The ‘new local’

The bar will have sports vibe with TAB facilities, big TV screens and punters days for the locals.

“It’s to offer what you can expect from your local pub – which is good food, great service, gaming if you want it, bar if that’s your vibe as well,” Anita says.

The team of about 20 staff will be led by Venue Manager Jo Enders, with Head Chef Andy Lucas crafting a diverse menu which offers meals of all sizes.

“Using, where possible, local suppliers and certainly South East Queensland-based suppliers. We get our chicken breasts in fresh, crumb our own schnitzels, we make our own parmies from scratch. Every meal that we are making and will come out of this kitchen is made fresh here,” Anita explains.

“The menu will range from lamb shanks, to a beautiful honey-roasted pumpkin salad … there’s a lot of starters and entrée nibbles, we’ve got a pumpkin soup on there as well coming into winter. There’s a range of steaks, all sourced from South East Queensland, as well as barramundi.”

A feature of the menu will be Andy’s chef’s specials, which will pay homage to the tavern’s bayside location.

“Every day we want people to come in and say that’s a great menu and we want people to eat it from the top to the bottom, but be wowed by the specials,” Anita says.

“He is passionate about his cooking. I’m excited about what he’s going to create on the specials board.”

New look for The Ox ahead of ‘soft opening’
New look for The Ox ahead of ‘soft opening’

The Ox reimagined

Anita says the new-look venue pays homage to its original owners, Nick and Virginia Tzimas, with a photo of the family on one of the walls which celebrates its history.

“Nick did all the hard work. Nick got the gaming licence before he sold it. He’s personally told me he had a vision for what was needed for this venue in the future,” Anita says.

“It was for somebody else to come on board and then create what his dream for it always was. He knew in his own mind that you have to evolve and move for the future.

“For Steven to buy it and reimagine it for what its path was to be, is exactly how Nick saw the future of this venue.”

The Ox will have a ‘soft opening’ on Friday and will then be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from 10am-midnight.

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