Jo Grace and Brett Pilgrim are putting their own stamp on the restaurant formerly known as Deck 56 in Belmont.
The new owners have changed the name to The Brooks Belmont, overhauled the menu and breathed new life into the restaurant's interior.
"We're making The Brooks a bit more upmarket," Grace told Food & Wine.
"I'd like to make it fine dining but I don't think, financially, it's viable to do that in Newcastle, so I've got it sitting in-between. A cafe by day, and a brasserie by night.
"With the menu we are trying to get away from your typical burgers and salads. For lunch, our chef is doing beautiful tacos at the cheaper end of the menu, but he also does the most beautiful barramundi, a prawn and chorizo pappardelle pasta, and a seafood laksa."
The dinner menu includes duck in a sticky lime juice, snapper and risotto.
"We're keeping the menu very limited at night. We're still trying to build up our night trade," Grace said.
"We're working three different menus out of a very small kitchen, too, so we can't have a menu that's three pages long. We have to keep it fairly streamlined."
The couple, in life and in business, also own a cafe in Canberra, as well as Chaddies on Regent and The Blind Baker in New Lambton. Interestingly, they grew up on the same North Lambton street and attended the same school in Jesmond but only re-connected five years ago. It's a funny story, and one that you will have to ask Grace about yourself.
"Chaddies is a good old-fashioned coffee shop with a very relaxed atmosphere," Grace said.
"We're in this beautiful courtyard with the most amazing willow tree and an amazing community. The library is next door, the school is across the road.
"It's been there 26 years, Chaddies, and it's never had a name change. I'm the fifth owner. We've tried to modernise it a bit over the past two years but it's still wholesome family food - big servings, everything made on the premises by our head chef, who is a qualified baker.
"Our sales at the bakery have doubled in the past 18 months, too."
As for The Brooks, Grace says "there's nothing like it" nearby. "You can't get a better position on the lake. I can be so stressed but when I get there and I look over the water it all just washes away."