There’s nothing like a drive in the hinterland, with the window down and the fresh air in your face. It’s once again something we can enjoy and some of our favourite cafes are ready to welcome you.
At the moment, it’s still takeaway-only at these three venues as they try to work through the first stage of COVID-19 restrictions easing.
So, be patient and make sure you continue to adhere to social distancing, if it’s busy when you arrive.
Owners Jeff Bennett and Julie Cobham have been serving takeaway since the May long weekend and won’t be offering table service, just yet.
But the plan, from this weekend, is to open up a portion of their deck so a maximum of 10 people can eat their takeaway onsite.
As is the case for all cafes and restaurants, the past few months have been tough as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. But it’s been particularly tough for Jeff and Julie, who only took over the business in December.
“We were slowly getting people to come here, then Mr Coronavirus came along,” Jeff says.
Restrictions forced them to close and stand down their staff. But an easing of restrictions, allowing people to travel further from home ahead of the May long weekend, enabled them to reopen and get most of their staff back.
“Everyone is so happy to be here again. It’s a beautiful spot – stress leaves you when you come here,” Jeff says.
“It’s been really tough time. We’re looking forward to the day when we can open up normally.”
During the shutdown, Jeff and Julie grabbed the opportunity to further renovate the café and house, finishing tasks they hadn’t completed in their rush to open in December.
The building is like a tree house, with 10 trees around it and 18 growing up through the deck.
“It’s such a beautiful house, I can even describe it,” Jeff says.
He and Julie would love to host weddings there and offer short-term honeymoon accommodation, when restrictions are lifted.
In the meantime, they are keeping their chins up and will continue to offer a 20% discount for Mt Glorious and Mt Nebo locals.
“We really appreciate their support and look forward to seeing them for takeaway and we look forward to seeing them when we can sit down for a chat (when restrictions ease further),” Jeff says.
“Julie and I have been through tough times and we take each day as it comes. We feel very fortunate to have what we do have in this world. We count our blessing for what we do have, as opposed to what we don’t have.”
Leaf Café is at 2040 Mount Glorious Road. For updates, head to their Facebook page.
Owner Karl Woelkerling is encouraging locals and visitors to pop in for takeaway coffee and biscuits only at this stage, until restrictions are eased further.
He’s opening on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-3pm, after closing more than seven weeks ago for the sake of his health and that of his staff and customers.
Dining in, even for 10 people is not an option just yet. Karl says the area is so busy on weekends, he can’t risk opening just a few tables for customers and prefers they pop in and take away.
He’ll consider the best options for his staff and customers as restrictions are eased further.
“If it doesn’t work this weekend, we’ll close again,” he says.
Elm Haus Café, a stunning timber building surrounded by trees, usually sits 40 people and is adjacent to the popular Maiala National Park.
It’s at the corner of Mt Glorious and Browns roads. For updates, head to the Facebook page
This popular spot for motorcyclists, or anyone out for a drive or ride, is open for takeaway only until restrictions are eased further, and there’s more clarity around the use of indoor and outdoor space.
You can pop in for a coffee or food to take with you from 6.30am-3pm. Just remember, if it’s busy, be patient and give your fellow customers plenty of space.
The café is at 1850 Mt Glorious Rd. For updates, head to the Facebook page
As Australia celebrates National Volunteer Week, we catch up with Mark ‘Buster’ Keeton to find out why helping others is important to him. Find out all the incredible work Buster does and the four organisations he volunteers at here …