Another week, another new opening in Mooloolaba, and this is one we’ve all been waiting for.
The Dock quietly opened its doors to the public last week, after months of hard work and teasers. So we did what any sane human with a stomach and a craving to hunt down all the best new openings on the Sunshine Coast would do—we dropped in to check it out IRL.
The latest addition to The Wharf redevelopment, this Mooloolaba restaurant and bar is brought to us by Jared Hart and his father, owners of Melbourne’s oldest pub Captain Melville and the hidden Loch and Key (also in Melbourne). To help out with the menu, they’ve collaborated with the owners behind Melbourne burger institution 8Bit and the smokehouse Up In Smoke, but more on that later.
The Dock is big, and when we say big, we really mean MASSIVE. Cleverly divided up into several areas, including function rooms, through the use of different furniture, plants and levels, this Sunshine Coast newbie is home to three bars (we know, right?!) and 52 beer taps pouring 16 different brews. We kid you not, this place is a beer drinker’s heaven, and they’re all from around Australia. Winning!
But it ain’t all about the booze. On top of what is probably the Coast’s mightiest offering of craft beer, is a menu that will satisfy the foodie among the beer guzzlers or a family looking for the perfect hit-all-the-right-spots feast for a Sunday lunch. (Fyi, there’s a kid’s menu, folks.)
Specialising in smoked meats thanks to the boys in the kitchen and their experience in Melbourne town, the stars of the menu clearly fall into this category. From smoked chilli kranksy and lamb shoulder to a 12-hour smoked beef brisket, we’re drooling just writing about them. Prefer something a tad lighter? There’s a handful of small plates—think: crumbed cheese stuffed jalapenos and pickle brined fried chicken with chipotle mayo—a raw and vegetables section (we try the heirloom tomato salad and it’s super fresh) and a burger menu with three mouth-watering offerings including smoked beef, soft shell crab and a zucchini burger. Wash it down with a Diablo ginger beer made by the guy behind Piano Bar, Solbar and La Canteena.
If you can pull your eyes away from the food, you’re going to be bowled over by the design of the space. To get from the outside in, you’ll walk through a beer garden-type area that overlooks the water and is filled with large white umbrellas, timber furniture, planter boxes and festoon lights—perfect for a few hours of day-drinking.
Inside, you’ll find a huge open space bathed in light and breezes that is decked out with bar tables, dining tables, a private dining area off to one side and another function-style room complete with a mammoth TV for those ‘important business meetings’. A giant bar floats in the middle of the room and towards the back of the restaurant you’ll be able to nab a booth or stool and look out over Mooloolah River while sipping on an iced cold frothy. Sounds like summer, no?
If you want to skip the food and go straight to the cocktails, we’d totally recommend veering off to the right and checking out the river bar, another section of The Dock which is coated in lashings of white, also has waterviews and just looks so damn inviting you’ll find it impossible to move on.
With so much to offer by way of ridiculously tasty nosh, beer and more beer, river views and ambience galore, we’re calling The Dock our pick of the bunch to day-drink and hang with your mates without blowing your monthly budget.
And guys, this latest bow in Mooloolaba’s arrow makes it official—this little coastal town has totally got its groove back. Bring on summer!
What: The Dock
Where: The Wharf, 123 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba
Contact: 1300 843 362
Opening Hours: Seven days from 11am ‘til late
Image credit: Amy Higg for The Urban List