Busselton restaurant The Goose closed for a year after devastating fire

Catherine MasseyThe West Australian
VideoFire has destroyed the iconic Goose restaurant on the Busselton foreshore

An iconic South West restaurant and bar on the Busselton foreshore has been destroyed in a fire early this morning.

The Goose Beach Bar and Kitchen, next to the Busselton Jetty, is barely recognisable after the blaze which has razed the roof, leaving huge scorch marks over its trademark blue cladding.

The fire started at 3.46am in the restaurant’s utilities room before spreading to the entire building.

Local residents packed out the area this morning to get a view of the damaged building, with a number posting images of the tourism gem to social media.

The fire rages through the iconic restaurant.
Camera IconThe fire rages through the iconic restaurant. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Busselton Jetty chief executive Lisa Shreeve told Triple M radio the fire, which started about 3am, will leave the restaurant closed for at least a year.

DFES incident control officer Neil Mckay said the fire was a “total loss” for the community and could even result in the building being demolished.

“We received a call to say there was a fire at the site and on arrival we found the western side of the building, the utilities area, alight and we set out to put it out,” he said.

“Unfortunately it had already got into the roof space and resulted in basically a total loss of the building.”

Owner Qi Eng said the blaze was “devastating for everyone” and she was already looking at how to rebuild.

“The Goose has been a family for us and has provided a living for so many staff in the past, we are devastated.

“One hundred per cent we will rebuild it, we will bring it back as soon as we can. We will start to evaluate the loss and see what it takes to construct the building in the very near future,” she said.

It is reported 35 fire fighters worked to put the fire out.

The Goose is one of the largest employers in Busselton with more than 70 workers and manager Tim Meikle said they would potentially work with other hospitality businesses in the region to employ the restaurant’s staff.

“We have a huge responsibility to our employees,” he said.

“Everyone who works there including the owners are proud of the building and we are very upset to see it in its current state.”

“Once we get a handle on the situation we look forward to working with the community and our staff in getting this iconic building back for locals and visitors alike,” Mr Meikle said.

The news is a devastating blow to the area, which is in the middle of one of its busiest school holiday periods of the year.

Firefighters remained on the scene today.
Camera IconFirefighters remained on the scene today. Credit: Colleen Dupe/Colleen Dupe

With the end of JobKeeper and JobSeeker last month, the blaze couldn’t come at a worse time with business bar tender Siobhan Longmore “shocked” and “heartbroken” to see the damage.

“This place is iconic. So many people come here,” she said.

“I am sad for all the workers, for all the people who have worked here since it opened like the chef, the hours they have put in to the business.”

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said the restaurant was one of the “three pillars” the Busselton foreshore revamp was centred around and would be sorely missed.

“It is fondly remembered by people who have had breakfast, lunch, dinner, weddings and functions and it will be sadly missed in the time it takes to repair or rebuild,” he said.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said it was sad to see the damage on one of the regions “most iconic businesses”.

The news will be a devastating blow to the area, which is in the middle of one of its busiest school holiday periods of the year.

The restaurant’s management vowed to rebuild in a message to customers this morning.

“We just want to say a big thank you for all the supportive and encouraging words this morning! We will put everything in to bring back an even better Goose in the near future!” they wrote on Instagram.

The Busselton Jetty will be open when the smoke has cleared.

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