Fine business, inspiring story
CONGRATULATIONS to Ziggy and Julie Fiegl on celebrating 26 years as restaurateurs in Noosa.
Theirs is an inspiring story of success and longevity.
The couple arrived in Noosa in 1988 after managing a catering business at the RSL in Kempsey, NSW.
"We'd always wanted our own restaurant and we'd heard Noosa was a nice place to live, so we came here," Julie Fiegl said.
That 'nice place to live' was still in its youthful dining stage in 1988, but the Fiegls knew a thing or two about giving people a hearty eating experience, and so they bought The Lobster Trap in Gympie Tce.
"As soon as we saw it, we knew it would work," Julie said.
"We ran it as an a la carte restaurant for a year and then turned it into a seafood buffet."
Long-term Noosa residents will recall fondly the old red brick building on the corner of Edward St and Gympie Tce, with its quirky lobster sign at the front.
Inside the darkened space, fishnets hung from the ceiling, adorned with crab shells and seafood ornaments.
The nautical atmosphere and the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet priced at $18.50, attracted locals, and delighted visitors.
"We had everything - oysters, prawns, crabs, a lot of hot seafood - as much as you could eat," Julie said. "The price eventually went up to $21.50, but visitors came back year after year."
Like almost all the old buildings in Gympie Tce, its life was on the line, and in 1997, the building was demolished to make way for the smart complex that houses Sirocco and Gusto today.
Undeterred by the building's demise, Julie and Ziggy moved a few doors down the road to the historical Massoud building, which was then home to a Mexican restaurant.
They opened with a steak and seafood approach, along with a 'give them a big feed for a reasonable cost' attitude, and respectfully named the restaurant Maisie's after Maisie Massoud, daughter of Jiddy Massoud who founded the cafe in 1920.
Now Maisie's is as much a Noosaville institution as The Lobster Trap was all those years ago.
It buzzes along steadily every day, feeding crowds through all seasons.
"We have stuck with our old-fashioned meals," Julie said.
"The seafood basket, the Clancy and Banjo steaks, they all work well."
Ziggy handed over the pots and pans to his son-in-law Russell Clarke some years ago, but he still oversees everything to do with the restaurant.
The secret to the Fiegls' success in a fiercely competitive field comes down to basics: value for money, decent size meals, good service and friendly staff.
- Ann Rickard
Maisies Seafood and Steakhouse
247 Gympie Tce, Noosaville,
Open seven days lunch and dinner
Fully licensed and BYO wine.