New casual dining restaurant coming to Upper Beaconsfield

Steph and JD Davey will be ready to open Over the Road soon. 250908_04 Photo: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Shelby Brooks

A new TGIF inspired restaurant is set to open in Upper Beaconsfield in the coming months.

‘Over the Road’ will be a wings, ribs and burger casual dining experience offering dine-in and takeaway, run by the owners of the Upper Beaconsfield General Store JD and Steph Davey.

JD and Steph took over the general store in 2020, introducing a small café to the shop.

From the success of that, they decided to take the opportunity to acquire what was the ‘Tradies & Ladies Café’ which shut earlier this year.

“Our general store business was going well and then the opportunity came up to acquire the site over the road,” JD said.

“The general store is a big retail business but we can’t do dinners here but there’s a big opportunity because the nearest takeaway is down into Beaconsfield or up into Emerald.

“So that’s a 20 minute round trip with soggy chips by the time you get home.”

They are hoping to receive a liquor licence and have A planning permit for that currently in with the Cardinia Shire Council for approval.

“The Upper Beaconsfield demographic has changed markedly in the past five to seven years and now those in the 35-45 age bracket (mostly families) make up the best market opportunity,” JD said.

“A liquor license will help us establish a healthy and profitable business, allowing us to invest locally and employ locals close to home.

“We are a family based business with a very big local focus.”

JD and Steph have secured Upper Beaconsfield’s Bonnie Simon as head chef for ‘Over the Road’ and renovations are underway.

“When we were renovating out the back, there was some rocky floorboards and we found a penny from 1921 so we’ll have to put a 2021 coin and a mask under the new boards we put down,” JD said.

They are hoping to seat 100 patrons with indoor and outdoor areas.

JD said the support from the community in the last 12 months for the pair’s business was amazing.

“Covid has been tough for hospitality but we’ve been supported by the locals,” JD said.

“Since opening the café at the general store last year, coffee is one of the main things to bring people in every day.

“We’ve grown the general store business about five times since we took over. We employ 21 people in the business and with the new acquisition over the road it will go to about 35 people.”