Newcastle's most iconic seafood restaurant has reopened and it's never looked better.
Get it delivered or take-away
When: Mon-Sat | 11.30am-8pm
Sun | 11.30am-3.30pm
Delivery Areas: Newcastle, Cooks Hill, The Junction, Hamilton, Hamilton South, Merewether, Maryville and Wickham.
To order: Call (02) 4929 1111
The iconic harbourside venue is back open and giving the people of Newcastle exactly what they were missing; good quality seafood delivered direct to our doors.
Following the announcement of restrictions on hospitality venues across the country, Scratchleys immediately closed their doors to take some time to figure out their next step. Considering the venue has been operating for over thirty years, it was incomprehensible for the owner, Neil and his team to consider being closed indefinitely.
Following their two week hiatus from the hospo scene, Neil and the team have come back with a bang. Not only are they still offering their fish & chippy takeaway service, they’ve worked hard to put together their restaurant menu for delivery and takeaway.
“Until Job Keeper became official, there was no way in the world we could have supported staff and experimented. What Job Keeper has allowed us to do is to experiment. It’s created this thing where we’ve got about 2.5% of the business that we used to have and about the 60% of the staff we used to have,” Neil told me.
Stoked to be back open and doing their thing, Neil and the team at Scratchley’s have really jumped all in to make this strange new world work for them. Not to mention, the staff are happy to be back at work and mingling with their work family!
“We’ve got a really wonderful staff culture. The majority of the people here have been here for five/six years. Within that, they're all stoked to be back at work. I think work does define a part of us, and I think work is a really vital part of what and who you are.”
Included in the menu is the restaurant favourite, Hot and Cold Seafood Platters. Full to the brim with all the seafood goodies including battered fish, calamari, tempura prawns, Balmain bugs, blue swimmer crab, fresh king prawns, ½ dozen Sydney rock oysters served natural, Kilpatrick or Mornay seasonal fruit and fries. These beauties are so popular, you have to get your pre-orders in to enjoy them!
Amongst the jam-packed restaurant menu are favourites including the Salt and Pepper Calamari with chilli and coriander, House Battered Fish ‘n’ Chips with salad and tartare, Satay Prawns with pilaf rice and Asian salad and the Miso Salmon Fillet in a Soy Broth with pilaf rice and steamed greens; just to name a few.
The menu is a mix of popular dishes from both Scratchleys restaurant and the menu from Battlesticks. Make a night of it, just like you would when dining in the restaurant, and don your best dress to enjoy the special evening. Pair dinner with a bottle of wine or a pack of beers from the beverage list and enjoy your evening just like you would have if you were sitting on the harbour.
“A lot of the deliveries we did over the weekend, the customers actually got dressed up. The few that I did were actually dressed up as if going to a ball, they had gone full dinner party dress up. And I think that’s the attitude that we’ve got to have, it’s still special. We don’t have to do the cleaning up, sure we might not have that harbour view, but people have got to be innovative about how they approach what we do too.”
Neil has also found that pick-up has been a popular option for customers, as it gives them an excuse to get out of the house and see some friendly faces.
“Over thirty years, we’ve built up an incredibly significant regular clientele. As a result of that, they want to see familiar faces when they pick-up. That familiarity is that human connection which is what we sell in a restaurant. We sell an experience.”
Like most of us, what the future holds right now is still hard for anyone to really tell, but Scratchleys is putting in their all to ensure that whatever they do, means they’ll be there on the other side.
“I feel extremely confident that we’ll make it out the other end because we’ve got no choice. That’s the harsh reality, we just have to make it work. I have no desire to retire, nor do I think the staff do. I think one of the things we’ve been able to do in our thirty years here, is that we are actually part of the communal fabric of Newcastle.”
If you’ve been craving some seafood, look no further than Scratchleys on the Wharf. Either treat yourself to their restaurant menu and get it delivered (or choose pick-up if you’re outside the delivery area) or if it’s take-away fish and chips you’re after, swing by the hole-in-the-wall spot after going for a bike-ride with the fam to get some goodies on the go!