Almost two years to the week after retiring, the familiar faces of Noelene and Eric Ozols have returned to Café Imperial, creatively running out of Bingara’s Imperial Hotel while trading restrictions remain.
Whilst the difficult conditions led to unfortunate challenges for existing publican Jason Coss, this allowed Noelene and Eric to quietly reappear at the counter.
After just two weeks, the return of the familiar faces has been most welcome and is already the talk of the town and residents couldn’t be happier. “It’s absolutely wonderful. I’m really delighted,” said long time regular customer Kerry Mitchell.
The past couple of years saw Eric and Noelene able to travel as they wished, visiting Europe and the UK, then travelling through parts of Australia. The time away also allowed them to spend plenty of time with their family, including two granddaughters at Delungra.
Local golf courses saw a lot of Eric with plenty of time to practice the putting. Noelene and Eric continue to be heavily involved in the community they have been part of since 1994, endearing them to the town.
For now, the soft opening will allow time for the re-learning of regulars’ coffee preferences and fine tuning of the menu. Restrictions continue to change constantly with this coming Friday seeing an ease in trading to allow up to 10 people to dine at a time.
“We will just be operating as Café Imperial until trading resumes as normal and restrictions are reduced,” said Erik.
The coffee shop, conference room, accommodation, beer garden and bar will all re-open as time allows. In the interim, the hotel is open for business in the way it is allowed; with takeaway coffee available from 7:00am and lunch from 11:00am.