Inge and Greg Jones on the balcony of the cafe and store at Rosebank, which they’re turning into a dining destination.
Inge and Greg Jones on the balcony of the cafe and store at Rosebank, which they’re turning into a dining destination. Digby Hildreth

Rosebank cafe reimagining

AS ROSEBANK locals and an army of Queensland holidaymakers could tell you, the cafe and corner store in the hinterland village has re-opened after the previous owners closed it last Christmas Eve.

It has, in fact, been trading since September 24, but the new proprietors are set to take the business up a couple of steps by hiring a chef and expanding their range of services.

The re-opening was hailed by the community: once again they could buy close to home the newspapers and basic necessities such as freshly delivered Bowens bread and Byron Gourmet Pies, or pop out for a coffee or a meal if they didn't feel like cooking at the end of the week.

But Greg and Inge Jones didn't just buy the Green Frog Cafe, change the name to The Hinterlander's Haven and start brewing coffee again.

They transformed the place, opening up a back room for musical afternoons and a gallery space, repainting it in federation colours suited to its 1907 origins.

They also wrote up a wish list of activities and dining opportunities they wanted to offer the locals - and to draw custom from the wider area.

Mr Jones does the cooking, putting in long hours seven days a week to produce breakfasts and lunches, and until recently every Friday night for dinners, and the occasional Saturday for private functions.

Mr Jones ran a restaurant in Manly for years before the couple finally made the long-desired jump into the Northern Rivers.

"But while he is a great cook, he's not a chef," his wife said.

"We want to be open for long country lunches on Saturdays and Sundays, and we want the food to be of the highest quality, but at an affordable price," Ms Jones said.

"There's a demand for it, as the popularity of the Eltham Pantry and Harvest Cafe at Newrybar."

The Joneses don't want to "yuppify" the place, she said, but they do want a chef who will create a reputation for country-style food - "roasts, damper, rack of lamb".

They will also be seeking a liquor licence and are in talks with Byron Bay Brewery to source their beers.

From this week they are also providing Campos coffee to accompany the Rosebank Gold they've stocked.



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