GLORIA McDonald is 99 years old and she wants to celebrate her 100th birthday at her favourite restaurant.

But Mrs McDonald was devastated to find out Portside Seafood Restaurant in Buddina will be closing.

After 19 years under its current owner and more than 30 years in operation, its lease is not being renewed.




She and friend Heather Haythorpe are among signatories of a petition calling for the decision to be reversed.

“Gloria, my friend, she turns 100 in September – and we were going to have a celebration there,” Mrs Haythorpe said.

“She was so upset on Friday when she found out what was happening. She loves that restaurant.”

Mrs Haythorpe said last Friday she arrived for dinner at Portside to learn that after running it for 19 years, the lease would not be renewed when it came up in December.

“We were just stunned,” Mrs Haythorpe said.

media_camera Ninety nine year old Gloria McDonald was due to celebrate her 100th birthday at the Portside Restaurant, and has been a long-time customer there, but it’s now closing down. Pictured with Gloria is long time friend Heather Haythorpe and restaurateur Carol Hicks (right).

She had been dining at the restaurant for more than 30 years, since before its current owner bought it, she said.

“It’s been a very popular restaurant for 20 years,” she said.

“You’ve got the boats and the water all around you…she always has a lot of fresh seafood. The prices are pretty good.

“Gloria, God love her, she’s been going there every time she can get someone to take her there these days. She loves it so much.”

Kawana Waters Marina board of management chairman Alan Taylor confirmed in a statement that the restaurant’s lease expired would not be renewed.

“The board is concerned that the restaurant is not adequately servicing the needs of the marina community,” the statement read.

“The internal facilities are in need of urgent improvement to match the recent replacement and enhancement of the deck.

“The financial returns to marina members are well below market levels.”

media_camera Portside Seafood Restaurant at Kawana Waters Marina, Orana St Buddina

He said the lessee had “declined to work with the marina to address any of these issues”.

“The tenant has been made aware that at this stage we have no specific proposals,” he said.

“We are prepared to work with a new operator to enhance the offering to the public.”

Owners Carol and David Hicks were “gutted” when they found out they would have to close Portside, Mrs Hicks said.

“The marina asked us to change it in to a tapas bar, profit share with them, and be open six days a week,” she said.

“We weren’t willing to do that.

“We wanted a three year lease to be put in place so we can continue to run our business successfully.

“They came back to us and said they weren’t going to renew the lease.”