The Daybreak Café will close its doors for the last time on Saturday, with a full a-la-carte menu available over the final two nights of trading to help the Eden business go out in style.
The McGovern family have run the popular café, located at the Caltex service station site, for the past three years.
Manager Joy-Anne McGovern says the family would love to stay, but unfortunately the fuel giant has decided against funding necessary upgrades to the building’s amenities.
“It’s been three years, but initially we only planned on it being six months because Caltex was going to come in and take over, and we thought we’d have to go when that happened,” Joy-Anne said.
“We’ve been lucky enough to stay for longer than we first thought, and it’s unfortunate to be going, but that’s just how it goes.
“Council wants a few things fixed in the building, but Caltex aren’t interested in fixing it, and they told me that 12 months ago.
“[Council’s issues are] just storage shelving in the freezer and the coolroom, and they thought it was tired and needed a repaint.
“We don’t have a lease, so it’s not as if we know how long we’re going to be here, and we don’t want to be putting money into stainless steel shelving and then not being here.”
The café employs six people, including five of the McGovern family and an apprentice.
Joy-Anne says her two daughters, Gennaveve and Theresa, have applied for work in the mines, and that she is now on the lookout for work herself.
She says the café’s position at the bottom of Imlay Street has meant they have helped many travellers find their way into the town centre, which they otherwise may have missed as they headed south.
“We looked around, but we don’t want to go up the street anywhere; there are already enough cafés up there,” Joy-Anne said.
“A lot of people come around the roundabout and don’t even realise there’s a town up there when they’re travelling through.
“So we actually direct a lot of people and send them up to the lookout or to the wharf.”
Joy-Anne says the three years have brought with them many fond memories.
But when asked if closing up for the final time on Saturday would be an emotional event, she was more concerned about some of her most loyal customers.
“I think we’ve already been through [the emotions],” she said.
“Telling the poor old garbage men in the morning was terrible,” she laughed.
“A lot of them hadn’t heard through word of mouth because they come from Bega.
“But we see them go past every morning and they drop in here when they come back around.
“There’s nothing else open at 5am, so they’ve all been devastated, and they’re saying, ‘No, you’ve got to be joking’.”
Don’t forget to head down to the Daybreak Café for a full a-la-carte menu on Friday and Saturday nights, and help the McGoverns go out on a high note.
(P.S. Here at the Magnet, we’ll miss those early morning production day bacon and egg rolls!)