Popular chef takes over tower complex 360Q

Word got out pretty fast about Sorrento Catering owner Barry Iddles taking over the iconic 360Q restaurant venue at Queenscliff Harbour. Here’s the first article in a series of many about the reopening. It’s a piece by Shane Fowles published in the Geelong Advertiser newspaper, August 17.

A SHOWPIECE complex at Queenscliff Harbour will soon re-open, after lying idle for more than three years. Restaurant 360Q’s first floor will be transformed into a premier 140-seat events venue, while the downstairs area will become a daily cafe, bar and restaurant.

The panoramic building — which wraps around the marina’s observation tower — has been taken over by Sorrento Catering, which runs a string of quality venues across Victoria. Company CEO and well-known chef, Barry Iddles, said he was excited to open his first Bellarine Peninsula space on October 8.

“The harbour area at Queenscliff is incredibly beautiful but also under-utilised,” he said. “It’s my mission to make this venue both the best casual dining and function space in the region.”

The ground floor area will be known as Hooked on Fish, and will open daily for breakfast and lunch. Dinner will be offered on Friday and Saturday nights until Christmas, before opening nightly through to the end of January.

The upstairs space will retain the 360Q name, and be used for functions and weddings.

“There is literally no other venue like it on the coast,” Mr Iddles said. He plans to host weekly events on the promenade, including live music, themed food events and farmers markets.

He has already been in talks with Bellarine seafood producers and also plans to feature the region’s wineries at regular winemaker dinners.

“The local produce from the Queenscliff and surrounding areas is phenomenal,” he said. “We really want to showcase it and we are certain these events will do just that, as well as instil life and vibrancy to the precinct.”

The head chef will be Mat Hallam, who has worked with the company at three of its businesses, including Elk Restaurant at Falls Creek.

The 360Q venue, which is owned by Doug Rathbone of Rathbone Wine Group, closed in June 2013 after operating for three years.

“With business getting tougher and harder, we couldn’t continue it on,” spokeswoman Rachael Scicluna said. “It’s really sad; we’ve worked tirelessly for the past three years, and we’re just incredibly disappointed we couldn’t sustain it any longer.”