Mic Uebergang has always looked at the big picture — a trait that leaves wildly popular restaurants in his wake.
The Florence, as Uebergang lovingly calls it, was born out of a 15-year dream, shared with co-owner and Head Chef, Karl Voll. “I was originally from West Toowoomba and I spent six years there … and that’s where Karl was living as well,” Uebergang explains. “We always planned to open something together and Toowoomba just seemed like a really good fit for what we wanted to achieve. We both still have family here so it just made sense. We had spoken for 15 years that we were going to open something and we missed a few opportunities here and there but we finally thought ‘bugger it’.”
The Florence was essentially designed around the region. Florence comes from the word flora, an allusion to Toowoomba’s title as the garden capital of Australia. The name also matches the branding and design of Uebergang’s own Thirsty Occasions aesthetic. “You make your own success; you make your own luck, but sometimes it’s hard work, sometimes you get blessed.”
Working on multiple businesses daily, Mic and Karl have a driving passion: creating an experience for their customers. This begins with how the dedicated team at The Florence are trained. “I like to lead by example. We hire people with a personality. If they can have a conversation with you at the bar, that’s equally as important as having product knowledge.”
Voll and Uebergang’s focus is on innovation in every part of their business, activating every space to become part of a cohesive whole. For food, they believe in developing their offering of a traditional Australian pub menu. A fish and chip laneway, as well as seasonal menus and cocktails are on the table. The pair have plans for The Florence to create its own gin and a small botanical room. What is a botanical room you ask? “A botanical room where people can pick their own botanicals and they can choose what they want in their gin.”
Voll and Uebergang’s aspiration for the business is to fill the place every night, a reward for the days and nights they have dedicated to the venue. To achieve this, they look to the future. “It is all about innovation; it is all about experience, and it is all about theatre. Every business I know of has the ability to change and when we’re talking about business owners who are heavily involved in the business … we need to be flexible.”
From seeds to feeds and everything in between, an inventive menu laden with local produce is sure to entice Toowoomba diners with the distinctive underground feel this hospitality tycoon has crafted on Duggan Street.
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