Far North foodies will soon be able to “clink, drink and feast” at the city’s newest and most exciting dining experience, Copper Bar & Grill.
Located at 77 The Esplanade, the casual boutique restaurant is set to host its much-anticipated Opening from Friday November 5 and everyone across Far North Queensland is invited to join in the celebration.
Featuring a multicultural menu that includes Jamaican-inspired chicken, kale and halloumi salad, a delicious selection of burgers and steaks plus desserts such as coconut panna cotta, sticky date pudding and crème brulée, Copper offers irresistible options for every palette.
Founder Mazhar Ahmed brings impressive credentials to the table, having worked with industry experts in the acclaimed Gordon Ramsay Group in London, along with stints for esteemed Japanese and Italian restaurants in Dubai before making the move to Australia.
More recently, Cairns locals may recognise Mazhar from his time managing the popular Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse.
He says his time at the local restaurant helped him gain a good understanding of the Cairns market, and he’s now excited to introduce the region to his own style of dining.
“Working in Cairns for the past one and a half years, I’ve managed to understand a little bit of the demographics of the local clientele and their expectations. For us, the most important things are the quality of food and the customer service,” says Mazhar.
“It’s simple food and simple beverages but done in our own unique and crafty Copper way, which stands different from the other establishments in Cairns.
“This is my own venture, where I have full freedom to do what I want. I sometimes think in a very unconventional way as well. Out-of-the-box strategies is one of my key mantras.”
While diners can expect to be wowed by the delicious food and great service, Mazhar says he wants Copper to be a place where everyone feels welcome, from those planning an enjoyable dinner out to walk-ins wearing thongs and beach clothes after a day at the Lagoon.
“It’s not going to be focused only on families; it’s also not going to be focused only on a young crowd. We want to create an atmosphere that caters to all age groups where people feel comfortable. It is casual, but also chic and quirky and more contemporary in a way.”
Another major selling point for Far North diners is Copper’s spotlight on local ingredients. The bar and the grill will both feature a wide variety of locally sourced goods, from gin to poultry.
“We are sourcing our products like meat and chicken from the Tablelands, but then we also want to introduce locals to products from different regions of Australia, most importantly in Queensland, like the beef-growing region of Darling Downs.
“But 90 per cent of our menu is sourced locally. All our sauces and salad dressings are going to be made in house, focusing mostly on incorporating local ingredients.
“We have collaborated with local gin distillery Wolf Lane and will be having multiple feature cocktails with their products. The majority of our money is staying local and being invested among the various suppliers of Far North Queensland.”
Mazhar says the project is very much a collaboration between himself and his Head Chef and former Waterbar Sous Chef Abdul Dumbuya.
“I think that’s where the personality of Copper will come out. It’s not just me who is running the show, it’s a combination of all of us.”
Copper will be open to the public from November 5 with lunch available in the hours of 11:30am-3pm and 5pm-9:30pm for dinner, plus bar snacks available between 3pm and 5pm.