Plans are underway to make the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket into more than just an animal park. The popular koala sanctuary will be developed into a culinary hub and dining destination as well.
Yianni Passaris, who owns Ping Pong restaurant in Newstead and the Morning After cafe in West End, has been tapped as the food and beverage advisor. Mr Passaris will work with the sanctuary management in developing the park as a foodie precinct.
The initial plan is to transform the front cafe near the park entrance to make it more accessible to the general public. Diners won’t need to purchase a ticket to the sanctuary for this main eatery.
Lone Pine Sanctuary cafe’s menu will also undergo a revamp, foregoing the frozen lasagnas and quiches selections in favor of tastier but affordable gourmet options.
The next plan is to build a restaurant and another cafe inside the park. Passaris said that since Fig Tree Pocket hardly has good cafes, so locals would likely be encouraged to visit the park to dine and enjoy the surrounding.
Alex Derlot from the Derlot Studio has been drawing up the redesign of the sanctuary and will choose the furnishing and decorations that will be incorporated in the restaurants. Mr Derlot will also create a space for the park’s new gift shop.
Visitors to the park should notice that renovations to the front cafe is currently underway and will be completed by January 2021. It will boast of 120 seats and recycled or sustainable furniture from Mr Derlot’s LesBasic collection.