Strathpine Burger Bar Rises from Ashes 6 Months After Alleged Arson Attack

Grubbies Burgers and Hawaiian BBQ, popular Strathpine burger bar, has marked a remarkable comeback after enduring alleged arson attacks more than six months ago.

Owner Ben Niumata remains perplexed by the motive behind the fires that targeted two of his restaurants. His Strathpine establishment was almost destroyed, while the Redbank Plains location suffered damage as well. 

Despite the devastating setback, Mr Niumata discloses that authorities informed him of no bikie or organised crime involvement in the incidents, characterising them as “amateur” acts.

The chain of events began with a fire at Grubbies Redbank Plains on the morning of the 2nd of September 2023, which was swiftly extinguished by nearby patrons. Remarkably, it reopened on the same day. 

Only ten minutes later, while firefighters battled the Redbank Plains blaze, the Strathpine restaurant fell victim to another alleged arson attack. Authorities suspect a connection between both incidents, as they found evidence of toilet paper burning in several locations at Strathpine, with the fire primarily damaging the kitchen area, leading to substantial smoke damage throughout the establishment.

Perseverance and Closure

Mr Niumata shares his ongoing ordeal with insurance claims, emphasising the challenges faced in the wake of these incidents. Despite numerous inquiries from loyal customers about the reopening date, uncertainty persisted, causing frustration.

The sight of devastation initially tempted Mr Niumata to walk away from the Strathpine restaurant, which had humble beginnings in a carpark. The fires have taken a significant mental toll, but the reopening on Friday, 19th January 2023, marks a significant step. 

Throughout this challenging journey, Mr Niumata made it a priority to retain all 43 staff members, treating them like family. He highlights their dedication, as some commuted from Griffin and Deception Bay to work at the Logan restaurant, underscoring the strong sense of community within Grubbies.

To express gratitude to his loyal Strathpine burger bar customer base, Mr Niumata offered two enticing specials on the reopening day with $5 Big Grub Singles and heavily discounted loaded cream paua fries.

Legal Action

In September, a 20-year-old Gold Coast man named Josiah Lea was charged by the Ipswich Criminal Investigation Branch and Petrie Criminal Investigation Branch with two counts of arson, two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, and one count of contravening a digital access order in connection with the arson attacks. Lea was denied bail during a court appearance last year and awaits sentencing.

Follow Grubbies Burgers & Hawaiian BBQ on Facebook for more updates and deals. 

Published 21-Jan-2024

Popular Ipswich Burger Joint Grubbies Burgers To Open Second Venue In Strathpine

Ipswich’s beloved burger restaurant Grubbies Burgers and Hawaiian BBQ is expanding to the northside, with a new location set to open in Strathpine.

Read: Award-Winning Family Business in North Brisbane Cited for Excellence

Owner Ben Niumata was hoping to open in September 2022 but had to push back the opening date because of some delays in getting approval. 

Mr Niumata took to social media to give fans an update about the new location, saying that they are still waiting for a green light from Moreton Bay Regional Council to finally launch the second venue.

As with their Red Bank Plains location, the new one would serve ‘Brisbane’s biggest and baddest burgers’  and Hawaiian barbecue platters. Mr Niumata, being a Samoan, brings a slight Polynesian twist to some of the items on the menu.

Grubbies Burgers
Lu’au burger (Photo credit: Grubbies Burgers and Hawaiian BBQ/Google Maps)

The most popular burger, for instance, the Lu’au burger, is made of Hawaiian char grilled barbecue chicken and topped with their signature creamy palusami on a bed of fresh lettuce, tomato and special mayo.

In Polynesia, palusami is a dish of wrapped bundles of taro leaves with a coconut and onion filling, sometimes made with chicken, fish, or corned beef.

Other hit menu items include Philly cheese steak, fried chicken burgers, loaded fries, and the big grub burger.

Grubbies Burgers
Photo credit: Lisa Laetitia/Google Maps

The burger joint has just opened in April 2021, but has since received a good following because of their unique and flavourful dishes. In Redbank Plains, it’s normal to see people lining up just to get a taste of the burgers and their loaded fries.

This place is AMAZING. The reviews don’t give it justice. The vibe there was phenomenal. Real family soul food vibe. The staff are so so so lovely and even though there was a bit of a wait for food (fair enough considering the sheer number of people there waiting for food), it was worth every second of waiting,” shared local guide Sophie.

Read: Eatons Hill Hotel Owners Bringing Massive Festival Venue To Sunshine Coast

To stay updated about Grubbies Burgers’ opening in Strathpine including the big reveal for the exact location and grand opening date, don’t forget to check out their Facebook page.