All the buzz as Beach Shack gets new owner

HOSPITALITY

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Natalie Towers is the new owner of the Beach Shack in Port Douglas. Image: Jeremy Lebeuf.
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From working in an ice cream shop at 14, being part of the iconic On the Inlet team, to founding a hospitality service juggernaut and now the new owner of The Beach Shack on Barrier Street, Natalie Towers will be using all her experiences to rejuvenate the iconic Far North Queensland restaurant.

Towers’ purchase has created a ‘Buzz on Barrier Street’ and now, with a new owner and fresh ideas, it can once again be one of the region’s most popular watering holes when it reopens in April this year.

“The deal took over five months. There have been many restless nights and soul searching but every day I wake up, I believe in it. It can be overwhelming; yet, I really believe I am doing a good thing and excited about having some fun,” she said.

She is clear when she outlines the vision of The Beach Shack.

“The future for The Beach Shack is simple, it just needs to be brought into 2021, as it has the most amazing soul and bones,” she says.

The Beach Shack has been on Natalie’s radar for some time and she has been visualising its future. 

“Since returning to Port Douglas, from Daylesford, Victoria 12 months ago, I have been walking past The Beach Shack with my dog Rosie everyday.

“During this time, I have been visualising the potential of this humble abode. It was on one of my walks I decided to back myself and go for it,” said Natalie.

She said Pete and Kim Murphy from the Papillion team will undertake the renovations.

“They are an amazing couple and company and I have complete faith that they will be able to make my vision come to life.”

Natalie made her mark on the Four Mile community back in 2001 when she petitioned for the first community BBQ shelter to be built in Four Mile Park now only a stone’s throw away from her new venture.

“I’d been living in Four Mile for a few years and we all agreed we needed something there, I just got the petition started. I love that they have now popped up all over the place.”

If you are wondering about the menu, Natalie said it will be simple, there will be shared plates with lots of local produce used.

Renowned for their pizzas, she said take-away pizzas will continue but she will add a quality take-away coffee offering for the mornings. 

“I’m a one-woman show so I have to start slowly. I would love to do breakfast down the track, but that will be later.

“In the afternoons, I plan to be open seven days a week from 4pm, when you can come in on your own or with friends, have a tipple or two and a chat, or stay for some tasty bites” she said.

Natalie is now an established business woman. “It seems like a million years ago I first fell in love with the service industry as a 14 year old in an ice cream shop.” she says.

Following her move to Port Douglas in early 93, Natalie worked in the functions area at the Sheraton Mirage Resort.

“It was thriving then. As most hospitality workers we moved around.”

“I did a good stint in Moss Vegas too, working at Goodies café, serving organic produce which was rare at the time. That was a great meeting place for all the locals that would come across the river or down the Range. I loved it.”

Her last few years before moving to Victoria, were at George the Gropers’ old home, On the Inlet Seafood Restaurant.

“We were such a restaurant family and I have friends that I have had forever from my time there.”

“But for the last 10 years, I have been running a registered training organisation I founded, specialising in hospitality training. I have always been very passionate about this industry and can’t wait to add this passion to this new venture,” she said.

“I hope to see you all for a frostie or a Margarita at The Beach Shack very soon.” 


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