HOMEMADE baked goods and coffee brewing will help rejuvenate an important space for Australian history in Ballarat.
Popular Mair Street coffee shop Lilly's Cafe has moved into the Eureka Centre, bringing back a cafe space to the tourist destination - which houses the original Eureka flag - on Monday for the first time in two years.
City of Ballarat, which runs Eureka Centre, has also awarded Lilly's contracts to move into Civic Hall and Ballarat Library, also council-owned facilities, in the next financial year.
This is a big shift for Lilly's owner Catherine Gill, who said her business has simply outgrown its premise on the corner of Lyons Street North. But the change would also allow Mrs Gill, a chef by trade, the chance to get back in a bigger kitchen.
Lilly's opened at the Eureka Centre on Monday with cafe sandwiches, pastries and biscuits and Mrs Gill planned to expand into à la carte breakfast and lunch menus once the business has settled into its new space. Everything will be handmade.
We outgrew our old space and I wanted to get back into the kitchen a cook a bit more, rather than spending so much time by the coffee machine.- Catherine Gill, Lilly's owner
"We outgrew our old space and I wanted to get back into the kitchen and cook a bit more, rather than spending so much time by the coffee machine," Mrs Gill said. "We're looking to add a lot more food, including ice-cream, towards summer.
"...I think this move is going to be very satisfying for us and our patrons. We also feel pretty privileged - it's a really cool venue. The landscaping is particularly beautiful, there are not many venues with such a nice view."
The cafe overlooks Eureka Stockade Memorial Park and was best known for housing Saltbush Kitchen's cafe until 2017 in what was then-named MADE, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka. The museum's last cafe closed in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Lilly's continues a revitalisation in the site with community groups, including Ballarat East Neighbourhood House, moving back into Eureka Centre with activities such as gentle yoga for the first time this month since the pandemic hit Ballarat.
Mrs Gill said she would miss Lilly's Mair Street regulars, but business had been steady with a soft opening on Monday and she looked forward to meeting new clientele, including tourists.
City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney said the cafe space was a major asset to the Eureka Centre, which was an important tourist site in Ballarat.
"Given the number of visitors to Ballarat is increasing following a downturn due to the pandemic, it is the perfect time to open and re-open cafes and catering services in some of our City of Ballarat-owned facilities," Cr Moloney said.
IN OTHER NEWS
Eureka Stockade Memorial Park is considered to be the site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade rebellion - a pivotal event shaping Australia's attitudes on democracy and egalitarianism.
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