After watching restaurants succeed and fail, the new Brisbane Street Bistro owners decided it was time to put their knowledge to practice.
On Monday, Ian Lewis and Sarah Willis officially took over the award-winning restaurant from Terry Fidler.
“I’ve been working with Terry on and off for ages, about 10 years plus. He’s been my chef for most of it and I’ve been working here for about seven years now,” chef Lewis said.
“Terry has been talking about selling the restaurant for the last year and he’s been pushing for me to take it and now he wants us to have it.”
Ms Willis has been working in the Launceston bistro’s front of house for more than three years.
“We’ve been working in the industry for a long time and it seemed like the right thing to do moving forward,” she said.
“It’s pretty exciting. We’ve both been working for other people and as you progress further and further on in hospitality the next logical change is to actually own it if you want to be stupid enough and we are.”
Lewis said working in restaurants was where the couple was comfortable.
“We’ve both been working in and watching restaurants succeed and fail over the years. We’ve seen the good and the bad and what not to do,” he said.
Lewis said there would be no major changes as the restaurant changed hands.
“There will be no drastic changes for at least the first year. We have a lot of regular people who love the place and we don’t want to change it for them,” he said.
“There will be a few little tweaks, but more things for us.”
Ms Willis said the restaurant would still focus on Tasmanian produce and the customers.
“You have to listen to the customer. It’s the number one rule. They’re the people who let you succeed,” she said. “And we’d be silly not to have Tasmanian produce - we’ve got so much of it and it’s so good, too.”
The pair hope their passion for food shines through at the bistro.
“We love food and wine. When we go on holiday all we ever do is eat and drink,” she said.