Rumours that Gerroa’s Blue Swimmer has been bought by Sydney’s Three Blue Ducks group are not true.
It has been sold, but not to them. Instead, it has been bought by five members of the Dewhurst family – two brothers and two brothers-in-law. The family has had a place at Toolijooa for ten years, and they all love coming down here regularly.
“Together we have a great deal of hospitality and business experience, and it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up,” explains Paul Dewhurst. “We all come down here a lot and we love the place and the space [at Blue Swimmer].”
The confusion amongst excited foodies arose because Paul is (and will remain) group operations manager of the very successful Three Blue Ducks, which apart from its original café/restaurant in Bronte runs The Farm at Byron and is opening a new space in inner Sydney Rosebery.
“We want to work with local producers to offer food that matches the location,” says Paul, whose brother Daniel will be the restaurant’s manager. He says their aim is for it to be a sustainable, healthy café/restaurant, that people will make their regular rather than coming to on a special occasion.
He cites Fleet in Brunswick Heads and St Isadore in Milton as regional restaurants that have got this mix right.
The new owners are bringing a local back to town to be Blue Swimmer’s chef. Shaune Smith grew up in Kiama and Gerringong, doing his apprenticeship at Cronins Pub. He has had a very successful career, including at Pope Joan and George Calombaris’ Hellen-ic Republic in Melbourne.
The Blue Swimmer will reopen under its new owners by the end of May. It will be open seven days for breakfast and lunch, with dinners initially on Fridays and Saturdays. Paul says there will be lots of local seafood.