OOZING COASTAL CHARM AND OLD-SCHOOL SURF AESTHETIC, IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE KIRRA BEACH AND COOLANGATTA HAD A FACELIFT. BUT IF THERE’S ONE FAMILY WE WOULD TRUST WITH THE DELICATE PROCEDURE, IT’S THE ARCHDEACONS.
The Archdeacon name is synonymous with southern Gold Coast food and hospitality. Lead by dad-slash-executive chef Steve and mum-turned-operation-manager Donna, the clan has left its collective mark on Coolangatta over the past few decades – and they’re certainly not done yet.
Steve, who began his hospitality career at Twin Towns some four decades ago, is no stranger to fast-paced working environments or cooking for the masses. Following a successful stint as executive chef for Taphouse Group, Steve set off on his own in 2005 on a mission to bring a fresh, new vibe to Coolangatta.
“It was back in the day when the area really only had pubs and clubs on offer and we noticed a new generation of health- conscious punter coming through,” says Steve. “They wanted alfresco dining with fresh, healthy menus.”
And so, Café DBar and Gallery was born. Enlisting the help of Donna and their three daughters Brie, Emily and Ali, the venue grew to become one of the most iconic eateries on the Gold Coast.
“We grew up on the Gold Coast and we brought up our family here, too, so it made sense to develop our love of hospitality and tourism right here in our own backyard,” says Donna. “Having the girls work in the business was the icing on the cake.”
Together, the Archdeacons brought back retro milk bar shakes and burgers, while adding a fresh, local breakfast and lunch menu. But it wasn’t long before their success had them looking for new ventures and, in 2017, the family followed the direction of eldest daughter, Brie, for their next project – BASKK at Kirra Point.
Contemporary and bright, with an array of curated cocktails and chargrilled dishes inspired by its beachfront location, BASKK’s sophisticated design was instantly welcomed by locals and tourists alike. To this day, it’s the place to be for a sunset drink.
With Café DBar as their mothership and other unique venues being added to their growing repertoire, this foodie family has the southern Gold Coast covered – and there is even more excitement ahead…
ARCHE, AHEAD OF THE CURVE
With the hospitality scene well and truly covered, the Archdeacons – under the direction of youngest daughter, Ali – are now out to conquer the design space. Their latest project? Transforming the classic 1925 Queenslander, perched high on Dbar hill and adjacent to their first project, Dbar Café, into a luxe lifestyle and design Mecca. Curated with Ali’s careful eye and unique style, Arche takes cues from ethical, sustainable and independent designers.
“I wanted to create a lifestyle experience, a one-stop shop, that also supports independent designers,” says Ali. “There’s something for everyone, allowing you to find the perfect dress, hat or jewellery alongside the contemporary wall art your house has been craving.”
Edge and timelessness combine at ARCHE, which carves its own niche in the Coolangatta and Tweed region. Dusted in apricot hues, bright, open spaces and supersized curved mirrors, ARCHE makes the most of the ocean breezes, garden deck and the iconic Café DBar next door. Expect to find leading designers like Bec & Bridge, Elka Collective, Arthur Apparel, The Beach People, Rue Stiic, Will & Bear, Amber Sceats and Dylan Kain, as well as ARCHE’S own range, launched in collaboration with other designers and artists.
RUM, DON’T WALK, TO BASKK
As if BASKK’s intimate dining hall and pumping sunset deck didn’t provide visitors with enough variety, the Archdeacons have expanded the impressive menu of offerings with a brand-new concept. A nod to local trailblazers in the rum industry, BASKK’s new nook offers an array of rums from around the globe alongside a selection of spirits, wines and local beers.
BASKK Rum Bar has caused quite a stir since it officially opened in mid-October, with patrons loving the atmosphere in the dusty pink, Moroccan-inspired space. The curated drinks menu (featuring such concoctions as the ‘Caipirinha sticky
finger’ and the ‘Mr David’, both made with Husk Distillery’s Pure Cane rum) heroes the unique flavours of the region. It also complements the selection of bar snacks, perfect for washing down your barbecue pork rum glaze bao or spiced rum chicken wings.
Adding another dimension to the already thriving Kirra Point venue, the BASKK Rum Bar caters to after-dinner drinks or Friday afternoon knockoffs. The Archdeacons invite you to watch the sun go down, gin in hand, savouring the tasty, Mediterranean-inspired share plate menu before retiring to the cosy rum bar.