Determined to drastically hold onto tradition and family business, Mecca serves between 150-200 people a day.
Determined to drastically hold onto tradition and family business, Mecca serves between 150-200 people a day.

The amazing history of beloved Lismore cafe

EACH day owner of Mecca Cafe, Kelly Casey-McLean opens her doors at 80 Magellan St, someone comes in and says 'I used to work here many years ago' or 'I remember coming here as a child'.

The unique establishment, opened 92 years ago, is an institution and there are no plans to change it.

"It's those conversations that make your day so much brighter," Ms Casey-McLean said.

In 1928, Mecca was known for its pies and today the top sellers on the menu are thickshakes, eggs Benedict, and the big breakfast.

Although there are slight variations on the menu, Ms Kelly said they have, and will continue to rock the American diner style traditions black, red and white aesthetics with Betty Boop included.

And of course, family values.

"We don't want to change and become this modern, new, over the top cafe," she said.

"We're drastically holding onto those older type traditions."

The building is still owned by the family of the first founders and apart from moving a few doors down in 1932, the location, the aesthetics, most appliances and service have stayed the same.

Even most of the red and cream dining booths are original.

"They had in mind all of the floods in Lismore, so had tables and chairs designed to lift out so we can pre-prepare with the floods and can maintain the historical value."

Another unique historical feature of the cafe are two large paintings of Lismore created by two sisters many years ago that hang on the wall.

"One sister took the photo and her sister painted them," Ms Casey-McLean said.

Both have a special leverage system, so when it floods, staff can lift them out and preserve them.

"It's pretty amazing.

"That was one of the first things after the flood, one of the sisters came in to check how the photos managed."

Lismore's longest standing diner has it's original refrigeration system as well as now vintage, but still in use, stainless-steel milkshake makers.

Ms Casey-McLean said their staff aim to meet everyone's needs and wants from the moment they step through the doors.

Mecca cafe serves up to 200 people per day and are offering new dishes that cater to vegetarian and vegan dishes, open from 6.30am-5pm, Monday - Sunday.



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