Saint Helen’s Bar & Kitchen will unveil its fresh digs at its opening week Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 February. Hailing from Seattle on the West Coast of the United States, Owner and Head Chef Jess Hayes says she hopes Saint Helen’s will become a popular local haunt on the Gold Coast’s south.“We’re all about innovative share-foods with beers on tap and exciting cocktails that reflect our coastal locale,” says Jess.

Located on Musgrave Street under the new Iconic Kirra Beach Resort, Saint Helen’s sits among a hive of activity, overlooking the pristine Kirra beach and parklands. Whether guests are coming straight off the beach for a post surf snack, catching up with friends for sun-downers or settling in for a mouth-watering dinner date, Saint Helen’s is sure to delight. “I’ve taken some of our favourite American dishes and injected them with a fresh and flavourful twist,” said Jess. “So often, the American foods I grew up with were very one dimensional – typically sickly sweet or overtly greasy. However, I’ve always enjoyed balancing flavours with garden-fresh herbs, pops of spice and a good dose of acidity.”

Saint Helen’s menu highlights include Sugar Cured Rainbow Trout served with coleslaw, potatoes and dill pickle tartare, Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Saint Helen’s seasoning, polenta and peach chutney, Grilled Flank Steak, honey and soy marinated served with potatoes and greens. There is also a variety of moreish vegan dishes on offer, including Saint Helen’s signature KFC Cauliflower (aka Kirra Fried Cauliflower) and the “pulled pork” jackfruit sliders with bourbon barbecue and coleslaw.

Two years in the making, Jess and her husband Brendan Hayes migrated north to the Gold Coast from dreary Melbourne to bring their restaurant dreams to life. “We have both built our careers in hospitality,” says Jess. “Then one day we just decided that we’d like to open our own restaurant. We’d previously visited the Gold Coast on a family vacation and both fell in love with the laid-back lifestyle and entrepreneurial spirit of the city. Where better to open a restaurant and bar than overlooking the world-famous Kirra beach and expansive Gold Coast city skyline? We’ve lucked out.”

After a two-week soft opening in December 2018, Jess and Brendan temporarily closed their doors to fine-tune the menu and décor of Saint Helen’s. Promptly responding to guest feedback, the couple expanded their alfresco dining space and added to the bar offering. They have also softened the interior design to reflect the casual Kirra vibe with a 10-metre custom mural of the world-famous surf break hand painted by artist Mike Ambrose. “It had to be right,” says Jess. “Now that we’ve perfected our offering, we’re thrilled to officially unveil Saint Helen’s.”

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