The Lagoon Restaurant was first established in 1986. The Lagoon Restaurant was the first in Wollongong to develop outdoor café style seating. It was also the first restaurant in Wollongong to introduce a genuine seafood menu, introducing delicacies such as tiger prawns, Western Australian scampi & Morton Bay bugs.
The restaurant achieved excellence in the hospitality industry and a reputation for high quality food and service using the freshest of ingredients. The restaurant gained a reputation of being equal to the front ranking restaurants of Sydney. It was the winner of many industry awards and including being the winner on six occasions as American Express ‘Best Restaurant of the Year’ and twice being inducted into the “Hall of Fame”. It won the Restaurant and Catering Association’s Award for being the best Restaurant Cater for Wedding Reception, And 2006 Tourism Wollongong’s Tourism Restaurant of the Year.
Unfortunately the restaurant was destroyed by fire in 2001 and did not re-open for business until September 2004. The new restaurant featured an Australiana theme with wide balconies lined with colonnades, wide open doors and creamed coloured walls characterising the sandy beach that the restaurant was built on. The restaurant took advantage of every aspect of the beauty and splendour of the surrounding environment with its large windows and open air seating. The new building and layout had been designed to be able to compete with the very best. The new restaurant can cater for 300 people, but can also be easily divided into smaller dining rooms. It also features a popular New York style lounge.
The Lagoon Restaurant is the largest non-chain restaurant in the Illawarra. The decision to rebuild was based on the proprietors’ confidence in Wollongong’s future growth and development and their passion for the region. In less than three years, the Lagoon Restaurant has once again become Wollongong’s premier restaurant.
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Award 1986
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Award 1987
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Award 1989
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Hall of Fame 1990 till 1992
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Award 1993
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Award 1994
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Award 1995
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Hall of Fame 1996 till 1999
- AMEX Best Seafood Restaurant Award 2000
- R&CA Best Restaurant Caterer 2006 for excellence in Wedding functions
- Tourism Wollongong’s BEST Tourism Restaurant 2006
- Tourism Wollongong’s Young Achiever of the Year, Jonni Harrison 2006
- Tourism Wollongong’s BEST Tourism Restaurant 2007
- Tourism NSW’s BEST Tourism Restaurant Award of Distinction 2007
- 2007 Winner Illawarra & South Coast Business Award for Best Restaurant
- 2008 Winner Illawarra & South Coast Business Award for Best Restaurant
- 2008 Winner Business of the Year Illawarra & South Coast
- Andrew Harrison Business Person of the Year 2008 Illawarra & South Coast
- Andrew Harrison IBC Young Business Person of the Year 2008
- 2009 Winner Illawarra & South Coast Business Award for Best Restaurant
- I LOVE FOOD AWARDS 2009 - BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT IN AUSTRALIA
- 2009 Winner Best Tourism Restaurant South Coast Tourism
- I LOVE FOOD AWARDS 2010 - AUSTRALIA’S FAVOURITE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT