What did it take to bring down a Gold Coast institution?

LOOK, I’m not a big fan of cockroaches – who is?

But I thought it would take more than a single creepy crawly to bring down a Gold Coast institution as celebrated as Saks.

All it took was one dead cockroach to trigger council action that resulted in the ritzy Main Beach restaurant and bar closing it’s doors – for good.


But as with all good tales, there’s a decent back-story that puts it all in context…

The drama apparently started behind the scenes about 12 months ago, when council inspectors found a whole bunch of no-nos at the upmarket restaurant and bar at Marina Mirage. We’re talking seafood left uncovered and exposed, kitchen surfaces left dripping in grease, and grime, dirt and mould found on various surfaces during three separate inspections. Ew.

There were also cockroaches located throughout the kitchen, including at the washing up sink. Double ew.

All up, the restaurant was found to be in breach of the food standards code multiple times, with 26 separate infringements recorded.

After paying a $15,000 fine – and spending $55,000 “on cleaning and structural changes to improve food safety standards” – Saks returned to business as usual.

They even took the dramatic step of firing their head chef and manager, to show the council how serious they were about the health and safety of their patrons.

But just recently, a single cockroach was their undoing.

During a surprise inspection in August, the council found one dead roach – and it was game over.

Saks have now shut up shop and closed their doors for good.

Marina Mirage management has even confirmed that they’ve started searching for a new tenant for the prime waterfront space.

While I’m suitably horrified that the words “Saks’ kitchen” and “roaches and mould” even feature in the same sentence together, I’m also a bit sad that the restaurant has hit the skids.

I haven’t even been there in months – maybe even a year. But over the years, I’ve celebrated dozens of special occasions there. My cousin’s 18th. My dad’s 70th, and my mum’s 60th. We kicked off my best friend’s hen’s night at Saks a couple of years ago, and we celebrated my sister-in-law’s wedding there in 2009. I’ve got loads of happy memories tied to the place.

All I can say now is, they better not find any roach action at Max Brenner’s, or I’ll be downright inconsolable.

The Meddler

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