Picture a stylish rooftop bar, nestled among the treetops, with the kind of energy and vibes usually reserved for the CBD… all in the heart of Berwick, Casey!
That big city feel, on a nature enhanced rooftop ‘reserve’ was exactly what the founders of Urban Reserve had in mind when the concept of a suburban rooftop bar was first bandied about among a group of friends.
As the cogs began to turn, the group quickly realised there was no real reason that kind of experience had to be reserved for visits to the CBD.
“We explored alternative business options and locations”, reflects co-owner Toni Scattergood, “and Berwick really stood out with a rich history amidst the newer modern buildings. Of an evening, we observed that the usually bustling High Street did lack a pulse which we felt the growing community deserved to enjoy”
Enter Urban Reserve, a stylish, vibrant rooftop bar and venue, perfectly located in Melbourne’s Southeast.
Getting a new business up and running is usually challenging enough, but Urban Reserve involved an extensive building project as well.
“We were able to fast track planning permits using the Better Approvals program. We had a dedicated officer from Council who helped to smooth the process and make it more efficient for us,” said Toni. “As a group of owners, we all bring different strengths, skills and capabilities to the business. To ensure we were set up for success, we consulted with experts as none of us brought in prior hospitality leadership expertise.”
“Since opening earlier this year, our business and team have been really challenged with the series of interruptions during the pandemic. Notwithstanding this, our focus has been to keep the team engaged with training and workshops and to create a collaborative, supportive culture. As the hospitality industry reopens and we look to grow our young, enthusiastic and mostly local team, we are now finding that people who have worked in the industry have moved on. It’s our role to ensure we provide a reliable, supportive environment with growth opportunities to rebuild the confidence of job seekers and attract great people to our team.”
New business owners are welcome in Casey and joining a local Business Groups is one way to keep your ear to the ground, learned Toni. “Because we are new to Berwick, we thought it was wise to get involved with a group like the Berwick Beaconsfield Chamber of Commerce, to meet other businesses owners and learn from the similar challenges they’ve faced.”
“We have formed close relationships with several other Berwick businesses including Lanterns Viet Kitchen and Griffin and Morris Butchers. Urban Reserve customers are able to order enjoy their products and menu options along with our extensive drinks selection” reflected Toni, “these arrangements have benefited each of our businesses and enabled us to play to our best strengths.”
“We’re looking to disaster-proof our business – which will see us well for the next crisis. You never know what is around the corner, so preparation and forward planning as well as remaining agile and pivoting as required, is key for our business’s survival.”
“We’re actively trying to dispel the myth of hospitality as an unreliable job with a lack of genuine career paths. We want to offer a desirable workplace for our employees, building in the flexibility to allow staff work around their other commitments and build transferrable skills.”