Last drinks for regulars at Kirra Beach Hotel, the Gold Coast’s famous beachside pub

Kirra Beach Hotel regular Malcolm Roberts, 89, found the best way to avoid drink-driving fines — by living above the landmark pub, enjoying multi-million-dollar views of the Gold Coast’s famous surf break.

For nine years he lived in his local watering hole, and loved every moment.

But Mr Roberts has moved out, and heavy machinery is moving in, to demolish the 65-year-old Kirra hotel, making way for a $380 million upmarket redevelopment.

The KTQ group will build a complex housing 198 luxury apartments and 78 hotel rooms with a rooftop bar and a retail precinct.

There have been many parties, debates, singalongs and whale watching with beers in hand over the years, but come Sunday the doors will shut for the last time.

Like Malcolm, Brian Wise moved to Kirra a decade ago and found a second home at the pub.

“It is the friendliest pub. They really made me feel welcome. I have never wanted to drink anywhere else,” Mr Wise said.

Mr Wise lives by himself but is not one to drink at home.

“If I just sat here looking at four walls all day I’d go mad,” he said.

The pub has had strong rugby league links over the years and publican Greg Hodge encouraged raffles to support sporting clubs, including the golf club and the Kirra Surfriders Club.

“You come home Friday afternoon with a meat tray under your arm. You are a little bit late but the missus loves you still,” he said.

The weekly raffles of four meat trays have proved integral in supporting junior surf riders.

The money has been used to send them to the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre at Casuarina.

“Some of the parents are struggling with entry fees for contests and titles. The club tries to chip in as much we can to help with that too,” Mr Sheehan said.

“We are looking forward to going back to the new hotel when it is done,” he said.

They are searching for somewhere else to do their fundraising in the interim.

“I feel sad to see the old pub go.”

The patrons fiercely defend the pub’s dress code. High-vis work clothes, shorts and thongs are the norm.

“It’s a working man’s pub,” Mr Sheehan said, and sounded a warning to the developers.

The old pub was riddled with concrete cancer and asbestos, but Mr Hodge said he would make sure some things escaped the wrecking ball.

“We are keeping a lot of the memorabilia — it is going to go into the new pub,” he said.

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Café All Sorts on Kirra – Good Food Gold Coast

If you’re seeking a warm welcome on the Southern Gold Coast, then look no further than Café All Sorts.

Founded in 2019, to many it’s a second home; a community hub that welcomes its patrons to enjoy a coffee, cake or light meal overlooking one of the Gold Coast’s most famous surf breaks. It’s magic!

Despite having worked in hospitality for many years, it’s owners Chef Katrina Barlow and her business partner Cameron Shields’ first venue, their diverse experience showing in their inclusive approach to both food and service. Katrina spent eight years offshore as chef in an oil and gas facility (‘a captive audience’, as Cameron puts it), while Cameron managed clubs.

They’re both passionate about their café, their friendliness evident from our first meeting, greeting diners by name, giving exceptional service with warmth to patrons.

Their warmth is reinforced by the clean and inviting space, with rustic wood softened by accents of aqua marine and white stressed paint chairs, paintings by local artists featured on the walls. Themed to reflect ocean, sand and driftwood, this is the welcoming ‘beach house’ just off the beach, the venue tells us, where everyone can come, taking time out to relax as they get nourishment for mind and body.

Café All Sorts’ menu caters for ‘all sorts’ of diners, from those wanting traditional to modern, a place to read the paper through to those wanting a chat, solo diners on stools looking out to the beach through to extended groups using the space inside the restaurant or at tables flowing out into the arcade.

Beach trade starts as the sun rises, with the crowd-pleasing medium roast Fonzie Abbott coffee available from 6am. Fresh juices ($8) carry names such as The Antioxidant, Green Envy, Blood & Liver Cleanser, Hangover Detox and Immune Booster, promising a healthy lifestyle.

Breakfast is a bestseller in the café with a great range of dishes. From the ‘brekkie deal’ free-range Bacon, egg and cheese wrap with coffee to Convent eggs, favourites such as Avo smash and açai bowls, the Byron Bay Haloumi rosti stack with veg and two free-range eggs, or the plant-based Sweet potato, red lentil and kale fritters topped with avocado, field mushrooms and cashew cream sauce, there’s something for everyone, including plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options. Generously sized, the meals carry the flavours of real food.

On weekdays, lunch is a time to relax, with specials such as coffee and cake, a Turkish bread and coffee, a ‘licorice all sorts’ menu with lots of choices covering hungry beachgoers as well as those with smaller appetites.

Always looking out for local fresh produce, Katrina sources from local suppliers. Sustainability is key, the café serving kingfish, snapper, blue-eye cod and marlin from local fishermen as Fish of the Day. From healthy to different, there are all sorts of choices. We’re tucking into a Garlic prawns and smoked chorizo salad as the slow-cooked beef rendang fries catches my eye – a great cold weather option.

Available for catering and functions, monthly themed dinners provide a highlight for locals and staff alike, with BYO an added incentive to come and enjoy a night out overlooking the beach.

As big development borders either side of Kirra Beach, Café All Sorts sits in between in a sweet spot, a friendly neighbourhood hub of a café that makes Kirra residents very lucky indeed.

Drop into Café All Sorts. It may well become your second home!

34 Musgrave Street, Coolangatta 07 5536 9612 Open: Mon – Sun 6am – 3pm

NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of Café All Sorts on one occasion.

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