The Boathouse has become like the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk in a way. It’s now an activity high up on Sydney tourists’ ‘to do’ lists as the establishment has grown from a tiny deli to four beautiful locations sprawled across Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
It’s not hard to see why. The Boathouse has the feel of a market mixed with fine dining. You can buy fresh flowers before sitting on the deck with your morning coffee, or enjoy a fresh lunch in the sun (not without a cheese platter and bottle of champagne). It’s all paired with a waterfront view and the feeling you’re at the most wholesome yacht club in town.
Q&A with Pip and Andrew
Firstly, how did the concept for The Boathouse come about?
The Boathouse concept has evolved over time. We always wanted to provide an environment that is comfortable and welcoming, whilst offering simple food at waterside locations.
How did you choose your first location? What import factors were considered in finding the perfect spot?
Andrew owned a small deli in McMahon’s Point, always with the dream to expand. One of our customers bought The Boathouse building on Pittwater, and it all started from there. How could we say no to that view!
Why did you decide to expand the business beyond one location and how have you managed to maintain a local feel throughout each of The Boathouses?
As opportunities arose, we felt it was the right time for our brand and our team to replicate The Boathouse in other areas of Sydney. We believe the local communities are such a big part of each venue. Our team is made up of mostly locals at each venue, and we try and support the local community as much as possible.
Have locals in different suburbs responded to The Boathouse differently and consequently, do you now cater to the customers differently?
Andrew and I think each community does have a different feel, although they are quite similar. The locals are the heart of our cafés, however we hope whether you are a local or from afar that everyone enjoys a great Boathouse experience.
Manly and Palm Beach have more an environmentally-focused feel, and the pace is a little slower so it can feel more like a holiday spot. The team in these venues appreciate the locals still visiting, even during those holiday times. Whereas Balmoral has more of a fast paced city feel and therefore the team have to adjust to that vibe.
What's next for The Boathouse?
We have plenty of things we would like to work on in our existing venues. We would also love to do another Boathouse in the future, should a great location pop up.
Lastly, what is your favourite aspect of The Boathouse, whether it is a dish or a view?
Our favourite part of The Boathouse venues are the locations. We feel really lucky to be able to be surrounded by such gorgeous parts of Sydney.