Staggered by support: Retro diner is booming
CUSTOMER demand has been so great, the operators of a throw back '50s diner have had to extend hours.
Previously just open for breakfast and lunch, Blue Topaz's retro diner at Severnlea (on the New England Hwy) is now doing Saturday night dinners.
Run by Brendan and Shonel Roberts, the couple say they've been staggered by the support, from not just the Granite Belt, but from people travelling from afar to have a meal.
"It's been really well received by locals which is good," Mr Roberts said.
"We didn't expect it to be as good as it has been to be honest.
"It's something that people are now wanting to travel that 5k's out of town for.
"It has been a real saving grace."
The down turn across the region has meant fewer backpackers, which has had significant impacts on the caravan park out the back of the diner which they also operate.
Mr Roberts said the success of the diner has helped supplement the loss of people staying at the caravan park.
"It really has helped."
Their first Saturday night they stuck to theme, hosting 20-plus classic cars outside for diners to take a peak at.
"It was really successful and we've got the same crowd now coming back every Saturday."
It's also now BYO, with endeavours to get a liquor licence ongoing so they can start serving their own drinks.
"There's a lot more hoops to go through to get that," Mr Roberts said.
There's no rest for the Roberts though, with Saturday trading starting at 10am and kitchen closing at 8.30pm.
"That's one of the things we wanted to do because we've got three kids and when we go out for dinner there's nowhere to go before 6pm.
"Families can come out and be fed by 6.30 and kids are home and in bed by 7pm."
They're expanding the eating space too with more booths set to be installed in coming weeks.
In coming months they also plan to look into introducing live music on Saturday evenings.