THE long-awaited opening of the newly refurbished Ballina Fawcett Park restaurant, previously known as Pelican 181 may be just around the corner.
Owner Ralph Mamone said the restaurant, which will be named the Wharf Bar and Bistro, should be open by mid to late August.
"A lot of major work will happen in the next couple of weeks, so we're well on the way," he said.
"It's going to be totally different."
The bar and bistro will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.
There will be a variety of different types of food including meat dishes, pastas, light tapas, seafood and share dishes.
Mr Mamone said there would be entertainment on the weekends such as live acoustic music.
"You can go in and have a cup of coffee and a bite to eat, you can go in and have a drink and a bite to eat, you can have a formal meal," he said.
"Hopefully it's something a little bit different to what's in Ballina… a bit of an alternative to the pubs and clubs.
"It's such a unique little position right in front of the wharf there and on the river, we've got to try to do Ballina and the site some justice."
Mr Mamone said the bar and bistro would have a "contemporary up-cycled look" using a lot of existing and recycled materials in the fit-out.
The building will include an undercover and weather-proof dining area out towards the water.
Mr Mamone said Ballina was "long overdue" for this type of waterfront bar and bistro.
"We're trying to cater for a broad market and try and make it as affordable as possible," he said.
"We're quite excited and hopefully we should employ about 30 to 40 people there as well, create a bit of employment in the area."
Mr Mamone said he appreciated the huge effort by Ballina Shire council staff and councillors who have been very supportive of the project.
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