Creates culinary triad employing over 130 locals
Rockpool Dining Group is readying for a double debut on the Sunshine Coast, with hip Tex-Mex diner El Camino Cantina and iconic Italian eatery Fratelli Fresh opening at the region’s largest shopping, dining and entertainment destination, Sunshine Plaza, on Wednesday, 23 October 2019.
The casual, affordable and family-friendly restaurants are located in Sunshine Plaza’s picturesque, waterfront dining precinct, The Riverwalk. El Camino Cantina is colourful and eclectic and accommodates 250 guests, including 140 with al fresco water views. Fratelli Fresh sits above El Camino Cantina and brings robust Italian flavours to the table in crowd-pleasing proportions, in a rustic, internal courtyard-style setting for 154 guests.
Both restaurants neighbour The Bavarian, another Rockpool Dining Group venue that opened in November 2018. Together, the culinary triad employs over 130 employees, with the two new restaurants each bringing around 45 full-time and casual jobs to the Plaza. Recruitment is under way and advertised roles can be found here and here.
The restaurants will turn on the family fun for opening day, giving diners a taste of the good deals to come. At El Camino Cantina, guests can enjoy 10-cent buffalo wings all day and 100 free tacos will be given away at 3pm. Fratelli Fresh will give away a rainbow of house-made artisan gelato all day.
The fun continues over the first weekend: Saturday, 26 October and Sunday, 27 October. At Fratelli Fresh, there will be free gelato all weekend, children under the age of 12 can eat for free from the kids’ menu on both days, and there will be free face painting from 12pm to 3pm on Sunday. At El Camino Cantina, children under 12 can eat for free on Sunday, 27 October.
The casual duo are all-ages destinations, each with a line-up of daily deals that offer something for everyone. Fratelli Fresh dishes are as generous in flavour as they are in size, and everyday affordability is super-charged with special offers, including $20 all-you-can-eat antipasti on Tuesdays and $20 all-you-can-eat mussels on Thursdays. At Fratelli, children under 12 eat for free every day, and senior citizens receive 50 per cent off every Monday.
El Camino Cantina’s unmissable daily deals include $2 taco Tuesdays, 10-cent buffalo wings every Wednesday, and half-price fajitas on Thursdays. Senior citizens receive an Early Bird special 5pm to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Rockpool Dining Group Chief Executive Officer Thomas Pash said both restaurants have loyal followings in Sydney and Brisbane and are both expected to be a big hit on the Coast.
“We’re thrilled to grow our presence here on the Coast with a culinary triad of our much-loved restaurants, which offer very different dining experiences and are exceptional value for money,” Mr Pash said.
“The Sunshine Coast is a big drawcard for us with its strong economy and population growth. In the past 12 months we have contributed to that growth via an investment of around $3 million in infrastructure, the creation of over 130 full-time and casual jobs, and by employing around 150 contractors on our projects.”
El Camino Cantina's Nacho Macho
El Camino Cantina has sister restaurants at Bowen Hills, Brisbane and Westfield Chermside. At Sunshine Plaza, the 140-seat, timber-decked entrance is strewn with multi-coloured festoon light bulbs creating a magical first impression. Inside, the walls are a visual feast of neon signage and bright artwork that mix with accents of rustic Mexican haciendas. The restaurant hums with trademark cool tunes and several large-screen TVs play music channels and videos.
El Camino Cantina is unashamedly Tex-Mex (short for Texan-Mexican cuisine and distinct from authentic Mexican). Bestselling menu items include soft-shell tacos stuffed with seven different flavour combinations, sizzling, chargrilled fajitas with a choice of five fillings and a trio of big-hitting burritos. Tortillas are hand-made daily and guests can help themselves to bottomless baskets of complimentary tortilla chips with vibrant salsas served from converted Chevvy trunks.
The quintessential Tex-Mex experience extends to the drinks menu, which features El Camino’s famous margaritas, served frozen and on the rocks and in four flavours: classic, strawberry, mango and tropical Red Bull. Imported bottled beers, including Dos Equis XX, Corona, Pacifico, Negra Modelo and cans of Cerveza Tecate join a range of draught Australian brews.
Fratelli Fresh's 3-cheese arancini (back) and fried zucchini flowers (front)
Fratelli Fresh Sunshine Plaza has a rustic, internal-courtyard feel, with recycled bare-brick features and stunning walls of square-grid, bi-fold windows that drench the restaurant in natural light. Vines drape from a hanging plant elevation above the window, and planter boxes and ivy-strewn features add splashes of greenery throughout the restaurant.
The menu is the ultimate, seasonal, movable feast: beginning with antipasti, progressing to pasta, hand-tossed Neapolitan pizzas and main dishes, then segueing into vibrant salads and side dishes, and ending with fabulous hand-crafted desserts and a paintbox of house-made gelato.
An accessible drinks list spans cocktails that are inspired by Italian classics, a broad range of local and Italian wines and prosecco, and a selection of local craft beers and Italian brews.
El Camino Cantina & Fratelli Fresh:
Sunshine Plaza, Horton Parade, Maroochydore, Queensland 4558