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Dave Ferry

Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for Dave Ferry. He’s the man who gave us The Cambus Wallace and The Scottish Prince, two of the very best bars on the Gold Coast and with them, a whole lot of good times (and maybe a headache or two).

The last few months have been busy for Dave and the crew with the introduction of stainless steel straws to replace plastic ones in both venues and brand new, next-level cocktails for Cambus.

We sat down to chat with Dave about dehydrated beetroot Old Fashioneds, hemp seed-infused pisco sours and sustainable bars.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I moved to Nobby’s at the age of 16, 20 years ago! Man it makes me feel old putting that in writing…

What do you love most about our city?
The winter weather, the ocean, and being surrounded by forest.

What was life like before The Cambus Wallace?
A nine to five office job. One of those ones you think you want, study to get and then when you get there, you realise it’s not you.

How did our fave Nobby’s bar come about?
It was about six years ago now the conversation started with a group of mates about creating a place we wanted to go to. I had quit my day job and was travelling with my girlfriend and we were chatting on Facebook about these epic places we were visiting like nothing we had experienced, especially on the GC at that time. A few of us were starting to lock in work, mortgages etc. and we could see our window for overseas stints was closing fast. We knew we had to create a space that fulfilled our inner nomad – late night eats, delicious classic beverages, live music, good times and just that feeling like “this is where you’re meant to be”.

The Scottish Prince was next, why and second project?
We always knew there would be a CW 2.0. There were just too many great ideas to cram them all into one venue. Plus, once we discovered the story of the Scottish Prince wreck, it was just a no-brainer to follow the story on. We also wanted a venue with a bit more space than Cambus so we could cater for more functions and special events.

How do the two differ?
They actually differ in most aspects, except that they’re both named after shipwrecks with a late-night shared food offering fit for sailors. Even though TCW is older, The Scottish Prince feels like it’s been there for decades. It is definitely the more refined older brother that has a strong appreciation for whisky and blues to share with the GC. Its design also has plenty of nooks, curtains and the private dining room to really encourage guests to lose themselves. The CW is an institution. Some nights you’ll visit and know everyone and some nights, you’ll know no one, but either way you’re guaranteed a good time.

Tell us about TCW’s winter cocktail menu, what can we expect?
We’ve been playing with ingredients that aren’t commonly found on cocktail lists. We’ve got one persimmon and white chocolate cocktail that’s served warm. Another one is our hemp seed-infused pisco sour with matcha syrup. Or a dehydrated beetroot old-fashioned? And obviously they have to be delicious or they don’t make it onto the menu!

Any more exciting plans on the horizon for 2018?
Yeah we’re really enjoying where we’re at with the CW. Being a mature restaurant and bar, it’s not just about your offering and atmosphere anymore. We’ve realised that a lot of other venues around the world are watching or visiting us and we’ve been brainstorming ways to leverage this to do some good. One of our first initiatives was to ditch plastic straws and reduce waste. There’s some really great work in other states and overseas on sustainable restaurant and bar opps and we can’t wait to bring the learnings to the Coast. We will also be hosting a cocktail and whisky bar at a popular festival later in the year, which should be fun.

Best piece of life advice you’ve ever received? Smile.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Bar: Aloha bar, Broadbeach
Restaurant: Lupo, Mermaid Beach
Beach: Burleigh
How does your weekend usually look? I like to take the family up to Tomewin Farm on a Sunday morning to grab some fresh produce and enjoy a coffee overlooking Currumbin Valley. Hopefully get a surf in on Monday when the crowds are gone!

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