In Property by Clyde Mooney

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After coming to market in February, Dee Why’s only ‘pub’ on the beach has sold to Ben McBeath.

Deck is a bar-restaurant overlooking Dee Why beach, with a primary service authorisation allowing it to serve drinks without a meal.

The leasehold interest came to market earlier this year through Knight Frank, with 7.5 years remaining on the lease, paying modest rent circa ten per cent of earnings.

McBeath operates the sleek Attic Bar @ Arthouse Hotel on Sydney’s Pitt Street, and the TreeHouse Hotel, over the coat-hanger in North Sydney.

Recognising opportunity at the Deck to better engage the proximate market, including both beach-goers and locals, he is bringing lessons from the successful Arthouse and Treehouse for a far greater food & bev experience.

“It’s got a huge kitchen we’re going to make the forefront,” he says. “Where it’s been a sort of stand up and drink space, we’ve created a space and an atmosphere that’s all about being very ‘loungey’, and long-term dining; a feeling of like it’s a living room, as opposed to the rat race of a bar.

“I think that means grazing on food, on drink, on cocktails.”

McBeath says the concept has been a “melting pot” of ideas, involving input from small bars, working with his food & bev managers.

“And a far greater family focus, again, as opposed to feeling like it’s a bar. It’s about mums and dads coming in and having an area for their kids to settle down and chill out, and relax a lot more.”

The two-level venue seats around 140-pax, and while the area benefits from the industry-leading investments by Merivale at both the Newport and soon-to-reopen Collaroy Hotel, and the Laundy-Short reinvention of the Mona Vale Hotel into the Park House, the nearest competition for the Deck is the Bayfield’s Dee Why Hotel, on Pittwater Road, well away from the beach.

“Thanks to some recent pub improvements, the Northern Beaches is so hot right now, and we are super excited to see what Ben will do with Deck,” says Knight Frank’s Kate MacDonald, who marketed the business specifically to hoteliers, in conjunction with colleague Mike Wheatley.

“It is such a unique venue in a stunning location, and with Ben’s proven ability as an operator at Arthouse and Treehouse, residents and visitors to the beaches are in for a treat.

“I just hope to get an invitation to the opening.”

The revised Deck is set to reopen for business in late May, under the same moniker.