By Albert Masaka
The Irish-themed Corky’s Pub and Grill which is fast earning a reputation of offering delicious steaks and a superb collection of beers and wine to its patrons in the upmarket suburb of Borrowdale, has expressed optimism in the future of the business with the imminent addition of experienced international chef Keegan Corkys into its management set-up.
Club owner Mike Corky told The Standard Style last week that the joint, which is situated at Ballyntine Park shopping centre, was performing beyond his expectations since he took over last year in March and had since decided to rope in his son, who is a qualified chef with lots of experience gained around the world, to inject new ideas that would add value to the pub.
“So far, it’s been good. We have gone for about 17 months and we have new plans. My son is coming back mid-October. apart from working in the United Kingdom, he has been a chef on a super yacht for four years and has been travelling around the world for about eight years,” said Corky.
“He is coming back to assist in running this place, so it’s all exciting that he has got new plans.”
Super yachts are part of boats that cruise around the Mediterranean and Carribean waters, said Corky, who had been farming in Zambia for six years before returning home in March last year and immediately took over the upmarket joint, formerly called The Mill.
He said their focus was on restoring the reputation of the business which started as Wobbles way back in the 1980s and was popular for its quality steaks with tasty sauce or omelette.
“In this business we have got to keep reinventing ourselves and are set to expand our outside area to make that into a very nice beer and wine garden in the near future with facilities for kids to play,” he said.
Corky said in the new set-up, mothers can bring their babies and enjoy a glass of wine and “we have to ramp our menu to cater for the steak lovers”.
“I think in Harare you battle to find really good steak, so that’s our target. We also have a new range of beers coming from the Master Brewer from the Beer Engine in the city centre.”
He said their emphasis was on good food, good supply of quality wines and beers and targeting patrons from the early 20s to the 60s age group.
“Customers are attracted by the the ambience in the club and we also offer live entertainment on Friday nights for individual artistes and karaoke with DJ Squared Karaoke, offering hearty tunes from the 60s through to the 90s and current hits,” he said.
“We also have a Facebook page where we advertise everything and publicise our events. We hold functions for individuals because we have got a big area at the back. We do not necessarily rent out, but people just buy their food and drinks from us and we organise the music.”
Corky said the decentralisation of offices from the city centre to Borrowdale, Vainona and other nearby residential areas had worked in their favour as they offer good lunches to employees concerned.
“What’s selling best here are the steaks, pork belly and the new one I am introducing: short rib, you cook it like oxtail, it’s very very popular. Well-priced good location,” he said.
The stakeholders in the shopping centre have resolved to repair the road for ease of access for their clients.
However, the business environment is quite tough and they have faced challenges in sourcing imported liquor though they now seem to be on top of the situation.
Corky called on the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to help market on their internet platforms, the restaurant’s bed and breakfast guest house in the locality, which was attracting quite a number of tourists.