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Owners relocate popular cafe after more than five years at beach suburb

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A cafe that held a high-profile beachside location has made a suburban switch, reopening with a renewed focus on family-friendly dining.

Husband and wife Glenn and Nikki Elliott had operated the Black Bunny Cafe and Bar at Alexandra Headland, closing down in April.

Now they have relocated the cafe to Burnside, with a soft opening this week ahead of their official launch on Saturday.

Mrs Elliott said the new cafe would replicate what they did at Alex Heads.

“Basically it’s going to be the same as the old Black Bunny,” she said.

“Our biggest goal is to make sure we’re family-oriented and family-friendly.

The cafe’s backyard kids’ area, which is still to be completed.

“We were in Alex for five-and-a-half years. The lease came to an end and we were deciding what we did with ourselves after that and this place became available.

“It just made sense: closer to home and there wasn’t anything like this this side of town.

“It’s just somewhere relaxing where the kids can breathe, you can breathe, the whole family can just come and relax.”

The Elliotts looked at other venues in Nambour but were attracted to the former Frank and Moss vegan cafe space at Burnside by the backyard and deck.

The outside of the cafe on Perwillowen Road, Burnside.

“There was just so much more potential here,” Mrs Elliott said.

Their lease ended at Alex Heads in October last year but their landlord asked them to stay on for six months while they found a new tenant. They took over the Burnside premises a week before closing down at Alex Heads in April.

“The biggest hurdle has been getting council approvals, and there was no kitchen here at all so we’ve had to start from scratch,” Mrs Elliott said.

“We’ve done three businesses prior but never had to start the kitchen from scratch, so it’s been a whole new experience for us.

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“It’s a lot more than what we thought was behind the scenes, so that’s why it took us so long to open.

“And then the weather put the poor plumbers and electricians back.

“A couple of our suppliers have to change because they won’t deliver out here, which is a bit of a shame, but other than that it’s pretty much going to run the same as Alex.”

The Elliotts behind the counter.

Initially the cafe is serving coffee and food but hasn’t yet received its liquor licence.

“We ended up opening without our liquor licence because of how long it was taking to come through but essentially that’s our goal here,” Mrs Elliott said.

The cafe will also offer catering, and the venue will be available for private functions.

“We used to do weddings, engagements, 21sts, 18ths, all of that stuff – we’d like to do that out here again,” Mrs Elliott said.

“We also do off-premise catering – we’ve got our first gig in August.

“That was the hardest part about shutting down (at Alex Heads), was we had so many future functions but because we didn’t have a date out here, and we couldn’t guarantee the (liquor) licence straight away, we had to say no.

“Hopefully picking up again we’ll go back to being able to hire it out as a private venue, which is always a hit, especially at Christmas time.”

The venue has an outdoor deck, as well as inside and backyard dining areas.

Mrs Elliott said feedback about the new location had largely been encouraging.

“We’ve had pretty much positive feedback, the only negative we’ve seen is the parking,” she said.

“If you see this place on a Saturday there’s parking everywhere, it’s just whether you want to walk to it. As long as you’ve got the drawcard and your food and coffee’s good, people will walk that five minutes.”

The cafe is a true family affair. Glenn, Nikki and their daughter Sienna are the main front-of-house staff, while Nikki’s mum and foster brother are the two main chefs.

The Elliotts said they would look at hiring juniors and extra staff “once we work out how busy we are and where we’ll need them”.

The kids’ area, including a sandpit, is still to be finished after being delayed by the weather.

The Black Bunny Cafe is at 59 Perwillowen Road and open from 5.30am to 7pm every day except Tuesdays, when it is closed.

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