Earning a place in the 40 under 40 and winning the WA Telstra Business Award for small and regional business, Gnarabar has been lovingly restored by owner Anthony Janssen, from a failing business to one of the most popular eating establishments in Margaret River. But you won’t find him or his restaurant resting on their considerable laurels.
To Gnarabar, quality food and service without pretention is paramount. Sourcing ingredients from the best South West producers and building strong relationships with the region’s favourite wineries, the restaurant offers an alternate experience to fine dining in warm, rich and relaxed surrounds. As Janssen explains, “Coming to Gnarabar is like returning to your lounge room, our staff are friendly and it’s a great place to relax after a day of winery visits or surfing.”
Refreshing their menu every three months to compliment the seasons’ changing produce, as well as rotating daily specials, Janssen claims their chilli-salted calamari with Thai chilli jam never leaves the menu. “We’ve been serving it the same way for six years,” he adds. Clearly it’s a crowd pleaser, but not the only standout on the menu by any means.
With summer approaching, the team are busy gearing up to re-open the White Elephant Beach Café in Gnarabup Bay, as well as launching a new wedding brand ‘Barefoot Beach Weddings’ to offer a casual alternative to wedding planning.
But Gnarabar isn’t only about business. When asked why they came on board for this bi-regional event, Janssen was quick to answer, “Dine for life is a celebration of life through good food and good wine. It’s very much the Margaret River way of doing things, and we’re happy to extend this sentiment to support a good cause. I knew instantly that Dine for Life was something Gnarabar would like to get behind and support.”
And with so many lives touched by the cause Dine for Life is supporting this year, Janssen is no exception, “Our participation has a personal twist for me, as my grandfather recently lost his battle with Motor Neurone Disease. I just think it’s great to be able to do so much good through doing what we love the most.”