Meet Drew Port, co-owner of Room for a Pony and the newly opened Fondru’s. Having spent time living overseas, and a number of years in Melbourne, Drew decided Hobart was where he wanted to be. Drew’s goal was to open a hospitality establishment, and he felt that Hobart was the perfect place to do that. While Room for a Pony, which opened in 2014, initially satisfied this desire, Drew had been dreaming of opening a Fondue restaurant for some time. This year, that dream become a reality… Read on to find out more.
PM: Where did the idea spark from to begin Frondru’s?
DP: When I did a ski season in France in 2004/2005, I had fondue for the first time and absolutely loved it. I would tell anyone who’d listen how good fondue was. So much so, someone jokingly said I should open a restaurant called Fondru’s. And now, here we are..
PM: What's your background?
DP: I have been involved in hospitality casually since I was 18, but after having a crack at the finance world after finishing uni, and hating it, I decided to commit to hospitality full time. That was six years ago.
PM: Who is your team made up of?
DP: Got some great people around me, which really helps. My best mate, Stu Churton is involved at Fondru’s and I also have some brilliant staff.
PM: What do you want people's experience to be at Fondru's and what is your point of difference?
DP: I really like people to relax and take their time when dining with us. I think it’s the perfect type of food to take your time with - spend a couple of hours relaxing in the atmosphere, while eating cheese and drinking wine!
PM: What are your core business values?
DP: Customer service is the key!
PM: How many years have you been a business owner?
DP: Almost 4, but at Fondru’s for 6 months
PM: What's the most valuable lesson you have learnt from years in business?
DP: Don’t take everything too personally, otherwise it can weigh you down.
PM: What restaurant's, other than your own, do you like eating at?
DP: There’s heaps these days. I love Criterion St Cafe, St Albi, Etties, Frank, Smolt Kitchen, Maldini, and Capital to name a few.
PM: Three foods you can't live without?
DP: Well obviously cheese! Can’t go wrong with some good Italian. Lemonade icey poles are also a staple!
PM: And of course, what's the best thing about Tas?
DP: The people, for sure.
Drew is wearing the Long Sleeve Tee in Taupe Stripe + Oversized Knit in Auburn by Assembly Label. The Clark Jean by Dr Denim. The Rains Journal Jacket in Fire Orange, and Stone. The Levi's Trucker in Berkman. Shop all styles online!