The old Queenslander at the top of the hill opposite the Point Danger Lookout has had many reincarnations over the years, servicing busloads of tourists as a snack bar and ice cream parlour. But it’s not since owners Donna and Steve Archdeacon transformed the run down site into the Café d’bar restaurant and gallery eight years ago that it has become a local attraction in itself.
While they have a strong following including local world champ surfers and nearby residents, Donna says they also look after the needs of international tourists, short stay visitors from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth and day trippers from Brisbane.
“We’ve built Café d’bar as a destination. A lot of people from interstate come here because they’re told by someone else in their circle that has been here and loved it.
“After eight years, we’re really proud to hear of those stories.”
Stemming from their lives revolving around food and hospitality – Steve a chef and Donna working for many years in the tourism industry on the Gold Coast and later at QIBA in Coolangatta at the then Showcase on the Beach – the idea to start a café fit perfectly into their lifestyle.
Steve heads up the kitchen as Executive Chef, ensuring Café d’bar churns out quality fare daily while Donna is the chief bookkeeper and business manager overseeing both the restaurant and gallery.
Reflecting on the history of the site they now call home, Donna and Steve remember the front café in its various forms of takeaway outlet from ice cream to pie shops – always the perfect location for an eatery given its prime positioning overlooking Point Danger and Duranbah beach.
In some ways it has come full circle – Steve once worked at the very same site in his earlier days cutting his teeth as a chef when it was a Hari Krishna restaurant, the Bamboo Flute!
But the Archdeacon’s are the first to have turned the old house at the back into a gallery – which has come into its own as a viable part of the business, based on increasing sales from exhibiting local artists, as well as a trendy collection of homewares, clothing and jewellery.
The café and gallery is a full family affair – with husband and wife Donna and Steve managing the business, and their three daughters working within it.
“They all went off to uni and did other things, but they’ve found themselves back here!” says Donna.
This month, the café has scored not one, but two, talented new head chefs who will be working alongside Steve as Executive Chef, to develop an improved menu with more variety and a stronger focus on bringing the quality of local seafood and produce to the fore.
They’ve also introduced Friday afternoon specials to entice locals to see out the week with a relaxing drink, and have regular live music on Friday and Saturday nights when they open the restaurant for dinner.
Café d’bar is open 7 days – Sunday to Thursday 7am to 4pm, and Friday & Saturday 7am till late. The Gallery is open 7 days from 9am to 4pm.
For more information or to view the menu and what’s on, visit www.cafedbar.co