The Changing Face of Retail Spaces

When I first built Cilento, the commercial spaces downstairs were occupied by clothing and surf stores. Over time, we have seen a number of tenants come and go and without a doubt the ones who have endured are those who have offered an experience in terms of food and drink. This of course includes the fit out of the space which creates the mood for the whole dining experience.

In my opinion, the rise of “Fast Casual” is probably one of the biggest influencers when determining the offering a bar or restaurant provides. It certainly impacted my thinking when determining the concept for my our newly opened Tapas Bar, Backlane. People are busy and want to be able to enjoy a drink or two and share a few tasting plates before they move on to whatever else they may have planned for the evening. They are not compromising on quality – just choosing to graze at a pace that suits them in a time frame that also suits.

I believe as the Sunshine Coast continues to grow we must work hard to ensure we are creating dining venues that meet this demand. Clusters of fashionable bars where people can spill out onto the street, where they can meet for a quick drink after work and stay for dinner if they wish.

We must also ensure we truly deliver in terms of providing venues that stay open later. As demand for late night dining grows we must be prepared to cater to this and our staff must deliver service that you would expect at any good bar, anywhere in the world.

The importance of design for a bar or restaurant is also critical to its success. We need spaces where you see the merging of the outside with the interior, where the mood is set be a well planned spatial layout, and where lighting and tactile finishes are used throughout.

My next bar project is underway and I’d love to hear what type of bars and restaurants appeal to you.

Image: Cilento