Peter’s 40yrs of serving the Crows Nest Family
Peter is a true local and is the owner of one of Crows Nest most famous establishments Xenos. Peter has been in Crows Nest for 40yrs, as he pointed out he has been working and living here longer than I have been alive.
With 40yrs under his belt I think Peter would know a thing a two about Crows Nest and how it has changed over time. I asked Peter how has the food and drink culture changed in Crows Nest over his time. He told me that at first his most popular items were beer, milkshakes and stake and eggs. Today its all types of different coffee, it’s a more sophisticated Mediterranean menu and wines are more popular than beers. Peters restaurant has always evolved with Crows Nest but as I talked to Peter I wonder if his restaurant helped evolve Crows Nest into the wonderful food, wine and coffee culture that exist now.
Peters journey with Xenos could almost be the journey of hospitality in Crows Nest. Peter describes Crows Nest as the leader in hospitality on the Northern Beaches. It happens first in Crows Nest it sets the pace and standard for other areas on the Northern Beaches. Looking briefly at Xenos journey:
- 1969 – 1979 Milk bar with 8 tables a menu of fish and hand cut chips and burgers
- 1979 – 1993 – with the days of the milk bar numbered a coffee lounge is borne. Its expanded and red vinyl, brass booths and polished hardwood tables set the style. New Greek inspired foods add to an expanded menu
- 1993 – 2008 – Australia is in a recession that we had to have and it hits all businesses. Peter transforms once again, he brings a new dinning experience to Crows Nest, Alfresco dinning. His two sons join full time into the family business
- 2008 – Now – Xenos continues to evolve. Now has marble bar, expanded restaurant and kitchen, the outdoor area is weather proofed, giving it that real Melbourne lane way feel about it.
(You can read in a lot more detail the transformation of this restaurant on Peter’s website).
What has remained the same is Peter and the care he has for his customers and the quality that comes through in every coffee and every meal.
Peter likes to think that his coffee’s educate people though experience. I can see why as you drink his coffee you taste greatness, but more than that as you talk to him you hear passion for what he does, you hear passion for Crows Nest. As I was talking Jane came up to the counter for her regular coffee, “morning Jane” from Peter. I say to him you have real connection with your customers. Peter tells me “they are like my family, Jane has been coming her for 16yrs, I have people here that now bring their kids and they are bringing their kids”. This is Peters extended family. He has been serving coffee and food to some families for three generations. What does that say about a place when three generations still go their each morning for a coffee.
Peters “extended “ family love this place. I know I am going on about this but Peter has been her 40yrs and the same people have been coming and bringing their family, in this world where pop up restaurants come a go in a matter of weeks and days, chasing to be the place to be among a scene that most of us don’t care for, here is a man that has dedicated his life to the area. He isn’t chasing a quick buck or to be most popular place on Facebook, but is providing for the community, his way. As I look around I notice that the walls are adorned with photos of a Xenos cup from one part of the word or another. Peter laughs and tells me people take his cup overseas with them and send him photos of his cup on holiday. There are photos of his cup from Rome, Pacific Islands, Greece, America etc. I think his cups have traveled more than most people I know. He talks about these photos as if they were post cards from loved ones, and in a way they are.
Peter loves Crows Nest and the people here. He talks about the different nationalities and that the people are “just so very, very nice, all with different qualities”.
Peters vision and connection to Crows Nest is what has allowed him to become an icon of Crows Nest. I think there would be few restaurants, cafes and wine bars that don’t owe Peter and Xenos a debt of thanks. Xenos has been the leader in adapting and growing the hospitality culture of Crows Nest. It is this reason that Peter isn’t a competitor but rather a leader in the industry and his success allows the success of many other venues.
Finally I will leave you with a few words from Peter that I really loved “This is my life, I love the people, if I’m not here I miss the people I love”
Thanks for sharing your Crows Nest Peter,