CLIVE Palmer's ill-fated venture into the restaurant business in Surfers Paradise is about to get a new lease of life from a new owner.
Palmer found the going tough when he opened the Palmer Grill more than two years ago with a vision for a top-line noshery in the three-star Paradise Island Resort.
It was an oil-and-water mix that failed to resonate with holidaymakers at the 134-apartment resort in the quiet Paradise Island enclave.
Even a name change to the Paradise Island Grill didn't appease locals who were more accustomed to a more casual dining experience.
But now, after remaining dormant for more than a year after Palmer closed the doors to the venture, the space is about to be revived by the new owner, Gold Coaster Vicki Kersey.
Kersey says she has a unique vision for the 379sqm waterfront restaurant with a new dining concept for the Gold Coast.
Plans are under way for an extensive renovation of the property which will be renamed REaD Cafe.
"REaD stands for Read, Eat and Drink," says Kersey.
"While this type of establishment is extremely popular in places like Melbourne and New York, REaD will be the Gold Coast's first licenced café and bookshop.
"Having grown up on the Gold Coast, I have a passion for the region, so REaD will be a place to showcase and launch local creatives, and highlight local produce, as well a place for people to chill out over dinner with a glass of local wine or beer, enjoy a cup of coffee and cake, or lunch by the water."
The concept has been driven by Kersey's love of literature, and she plans regular book launches, music and photography to be an integral part of the new venture.
While the sale price has not been disclosed, Kersey is understood to have secured the former Palmer property on a keen deal which was negotiated by LJ Hooker Commercial Gold Coast's retail leasing manager Marius von Zeppelin and executive agent business broker Derek Walbridge.
Von Zeppelin says the property drew strong interest over the course of the campaign with about 40 inspections.
Palmer acquired the property in January 2013 for $300,000.
Kersey says she plans to open REaD Café for the summer holiday period.
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