Previously the iconic Bergie’s fish cafe located in Thirroul, NSW, the cafe under new owners, has had a major upgrade. Let us introduce to you: South Sailor, with its front yard ocean views and escarpment backdrop. This restaurant offers customers a contemporary dining experience with a strong focus on fresh seafood. South Sailor provides both dine-in and takeaway options.

The existing interior was outdated and lacked a contemporary personality. It included corrugated iron, timber logs and hanging fishing rods. It yearned for more personality,improved zoning and a complete rebranding.

Our brief was to transform the interior into a modernised version of the typical fish and chip shop. We approached this through gaining inspiration from the coastal location and local atmosphere.

The new design features three zones: a bar, a waiting / casual seating area and a formal seating overlooking the sushi bar. Continuity is embraced throughout all the areas through the use of finishes, including Tasmanian oak timber which is highlighted as the ceiling beams, table tops, benchtop and shelving.

We selected a commercial grade timber look vinyl for the flooring which adds warmth to the space in comparison to the previous raw finished concrete flooring. Its ease of maintenance is a positive in combating the heavy foot traffic that comes through the doors.

The front of house bar features an aqua fish scale tile which references the ocean. This tile is certainly the highlight of the restaurant and is not easily missed. This is used against a combination of various shades of blue, creating cohesion and harmony. The Tasmanian oak display shelving showcases their premium wine range and, of course, an eye-catching brass pendant light captivates overhead. The bar area is the focal point within the space; cars passing by catch a view through the large windows of the façade.

Birdblack Design desired the waiting area and casual seating at the front of the restaurant consists of a deep blue v-groove timber half-wall and benchtop combination which subtly zones the casual eating area away from the takeaway waiting section. There is also a curved window-seat accompanied with tables and chairs featuring the same wall panelling.

This panelling is reciprocated in the formal dining and sushi bar area. Above the panels is gorgeous,tropical, palm tree wallpaper, referring to the beach. This is complemented with the Tasmanian oak highlights and brass wall lights. This space features a combination of high and low seating, including new custom wall-hung tables.

The main feature of this space is the open servery in which patrons can view the venue’s sushi chef at work, accompanied with a neon sushi sign overhead. The existing fish tank adds further colour and customer engagement to the space.

Our design was the starting point for the rebranding of the business, with aspects of our design being replicated in the logo, menus and even the façade. The owners commissioned Kraken Kreative to create a mural for the front of the building. The mural consists of crashing waves, referencing the beach and also complementing our interior colour selections.

Interior Design: Birdblack Design
Build: Custom Cut Projects
Photography: Hannah Ladic Photography