Coast's newest tapas bar in street rejuvenation
ANDREW Phipps - known by all and sundry as "Phippsy" - is a Noosa icon with a deserved reputation as a television presenter, fishing expert, author, and master chef, among many other talents.
And it's the culinary talent Phippsy is putting to work for his next project.
ZZ Taps is the latest new bar-restaurant to hit the growing Noosa Junction rejuvenation, with Phippsy at the helm, which opened on August 19.
If you think the name suggests a musical theme, with tapas served, you'd be right on both counts.
"We're doing tapas-style food, with quality seafood; scallops, calamari, smoked salmon - we're doing shared platters, specials, and Super Seafood Sundays," Phippsy said.
Then there's the bar, with "the best cocktail barman in Noosa, Nathan Hedditch, rockin' the cocktails".
The venue is open six nights with lunch and dinner Fridays to Sundays, and would ramp up the hours once the tourist season started, Phippsy said.
He's taking things slowly, but "already some people have been in two or three times", with various musicians dropping in to add to the spice by playing.
The photographs and wall art lean heavily toward famous guitarists, including Phippsy's favourite, Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour, and Phippsy's own 'axe' is never far from the playing seat for when he gets the chance to hit a few chords.
But why now - and why Noosa Junction?
"I've been looking for a place for a while, had itchy feet for about a year," Phippsy said.
"But this is a good fit and the timing was right. And Noosa Junction is the next happening place in Noosa.
"There's plenty of parking, and people are not paying Hastings Street prices."
He said ZZ Taps was "here for the locals" and wants them to take ownership of the venue and is pricing it accordingly, as tourists will come and go.
It's been a journey for Phippsy and, as he says, the time is now right.
"I'm celebrating 42 years as a chef," he said.
"I lost my wife to breast cancer seven years ago - I stopped to bring the kids up - now they've left the roost, it's time for daddy to follow his dreams.
"This is a great place; I can see it as an all-weather venue for weddings, too."
ZZ Taps is at 1/9 Sunshine Beach Rd, Noosa Junction, on 53431756 and on Facebook.