IT’S the end of an era.
After 23 years, Jetty’s Restaurant at Hillarys Boat Harbour is closing its doors.
“Last April, I turned 40 and we took a family holiday to Borneo to celebrate,” co-owner Maria Dau said.
“Whilst watching our daughter hold a firefly in her hand in the middle of the jungle, I realised I had been at the restaurant for half of my life. I’d spent half my life looking after other people’s families and decided the time had come to focus more on looking after our own.
“Our daughter is nearly seven, our son nearly three and they have never experienced a Christmas or Easter at home because the restaurant is open seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“Raising our family in this environment obviously has both its negatives and positives.
“Being your own boss has its obvious advantages, however saying that, I had been at work on the days I went into labour with both children and had to remain working, even from hospital.”
Established in 1993, Mrs Dau first started working at the restaurant in 1995 after she had completed three years of business and hospitality studies.
She saw the restaurant change ownership twice before she and husband Mark bought the business in 2008.
“Being here so long, it really is like a second home,” Mrs Dau said.
“Meeting different people every day, each with their own story, has been an amazing experience.
“It’s one thing I have never tired from and definitely something I will miss.
“And our staff are fantastic. We still have one staff member we inherited when we took over the business, a couple that have been with us over six years and the majority of staff having worked for us for over 12 months.
“In an industry that has a high level of staff turnover, we have retained a remarkably loyal staff base and our children even refer to some staff as aunty and uncle.”
The Wanneroo couple said they had considered selling the restaurant but they felt they were in a fortunate position to be able to close the restaurant and hold on to the Jetty’s brand.
The restaurant will close its doors on April 2 following a farewell party yet to be announced.
The space will remain a restaurant, with Sorrento Quay Boardwalk tight-lipped about who is taking it over.