Barroul House opens its doors

Former Kiama Hospital nurses Lorraine Ettingshausen and Marg Rayson, who helped write the book on the social history
of the Hospital, enjoy the novelty of being served coffee in their old workplace by the manager, Adriaan Mak

After a total restoration during the building of Blue Haven Bonaira, historic Barroul House has opened to residents and the public as a cafe.

The opening was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Blue Haven Director Clare Rogers feels that it will now play an important role in getting residents out and about in a controlled environment.

“The idea is it will provide an opportunity for visitors to bring their loved ones out for a coffee, in a way that makes them feel part of a broader community.

“People are really looking for an opportunity to get outside of the home, and this poses less of a risk than going to somewhere in town where there will be a broader cross section of people and the risks will probably be higher.”

Three of the rooms and the verandahs are dedicated to the cafe, which is open Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Ms Rogers says Council decided to run the cafe itself, rather than lease the space, for a number of reasons.

“Apart from not knowing if we would be able to attract anyone else to operate it at this stage, we are taking the opportunity to leverage off the skills and experience of our food services manager and providing it as an add-on to the services of the Blue Haven facility.”

Adriaan Mak has set up cafes and restaurants before, and has owned his own.

His extensive experience, from five star restaurants to large institutions and everything in between, means he is relishing the opportunity to build the cafe’s reputation.

“Most of our food will be made on site, in our central kitchen,” he says.

“We are even doing our own pickling.

“The menu will be different to that available to residents, but made with the same care and quality ingredients. People will feel they are going out.”

Restrictions still apply within the facility, and a strong COVID plan is enforce to ensure social distancing.

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