Most people’s response to the idea of taking over a bar in the middle of a pandemic would be, “Tell ‘em they’re dreaming.” In fact, the new owners of Bluebottle Bar + Kitchen had been dreaming of finding a small business in a seaside village to run, and to become part of a local community.
At the beginning of June, their dream came true. After selling another business, Joe and Michelle Arrabal jumped at the chance to become the new custodians of Bluebottle Bar + Kitchen in Manly Harbour Village.
Despite the uncertainty and trading restrictions associated with COVID-19, Joe and Michelle had confidence in the area and saw an opportunity to build on the popularity of Bluebottle Bar. Michelle and Joe’s confidence has so far been rewarded. New and returning customers are enjoying the extended trading hour (12 noon to late, Wednesday to Sunday) and a tapas-style menu that gives a nod to Joe’s Spanish heritage, while still featuring favoured Australian bar snacks.
For most food businesses, the last few months have been more like a nightmare, Manly Harbour Village traders have worked hard to survive, shifting to take-away and home delivery services, with many using the opportunity to renovate. Manly traders say they have appreciated the outstanding support from their customers.
Restrictions are easing, but businesses are still struggling. Continued support from the local community will be essential in keeping the dream alive for all the traders of manly harbour Village.
Bluebottle Bar + Kitchen is located on Cambridge Parade, Manly open from 12 noon until late, Wednesday to Sunday.