The fate of burger wizards Ross and Lee Willson caught the imagination of devoted customers when news broke in April Beardy’s Bar and Kitchen would have to find a new home after being forced from their Kippa-Ring digs of five years.
One of the Peninsula’s best-loved burger joints, Beardy’s began the search for new premises when they learnt the property would be developed to create two new fast-food outlets and a gym.
In August, after a deal on promising new premises fell through and with nowhere to go, the brothers made the heartbreaking decision to close for good.
About Beardy’s Bar and Kitchen
Award-winning Beardy’s Bar and Kitchen at Kippa-Ring amassed a loyal following after it opened in 2017, with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Owners Lee and Ross Wilson were shocked to receive an email in April, 2022 informing them the property’s owners had lodged an application to develop the site, with the lease potentially ending by June 1.
On February 7, Town Planning Alliance had lodged a development application with Moreton Bay Regional Council for 403 and 405-407 Elizabeth Ave, Kippa-Ring on behalf of OneFin Kippa-Ring Pty Ltd.
The application was for a two into three lot subdivision, while supporting documents showed plans for two fast food outlets, as well as converting an existing building into a gymnasium.
Construction has begun on the outlets, both of which have been leased to fast food chains.
In April, Ross and Lee vowed to stay on the Peninsula and began searching for a new home.
“We’re definitely looking to stay here on the Peninsula – we’ve got so much love and support here,” Lee said at the time.
“We never got a look in – we were just told the site was being developed and the lease would end.
“We never got the opportunity to put a tender in.
“We’re all about buying local, keeping money in the community and using local support – creating fresh food and keeping money rolling around in the community.”
Ross said while they could move elsewhere, feedback from loyal patrons indicated they should reopen close by.
“So many people want us to stay on the Peninsula and we like the commute – we’ve worked in the city and we quite like the traffic here,” Ross said in April.
Just days after closing on July 10, Beardy’s inked a contract to move into the new Woody Point Marketplace.
But that deal fell through in August, with Ross and Lee saying rising costs and other factors made a new outlet unviable.
Confirming the difficult decision with Moreton Daily, Ross and Lee gave a “massive thank-you for all your support” to customers.
“They were the only reason we were considering keeping going, but you have to make a decision at some point.”
Beardy’s was no stranger to adapting, having survived rolling lockdowns and restrictions at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many other venues, they offered takeaway-only, but Lee also hit the tools crafting a smoker with a mate that added a whole new dimension to their menu.
Famed for their trademark smoked and slow-cooked meats as well as homemade spicy sauces, Beardy’s came equal third in a poll for Brisbane’s best burgers run by The Courier-Mail.
The business also won Moreton Bay Region’s Forkies Eat and Drink Award for Best Tinder Date Venue and came first runner-up for Best Customer Service, Best Hangover Meal and Best Drinking Hole in Moreton Bay.
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