LAST CUPPAS: Will this lagoon and cafe be replaced by a petrol station?
LAST CUPPAS: Will this lagoon and cafe be replaced by a petrol station? Trevor Veale

Say goodbye to the serenity

IN THE words of singer Joni Mitchell it looks like they might "pave paradise and put up a parking lot".

After September 24 there will be no more lattes around the lagoon. The Hidden Link Cafe is closing the doors and the family team of Belinda and Alan Reeves, their daughter Claire, along with their valued staff are moving on.

"It is with a heavy heart we're leaving," Belinda said.

"But our lease is up and the property needs to be developed, if someone would like to take it on we would love to come back."

"There's a DA (development application) in for a petrol station on this site which would mean the dam would be filled in and everything goes. My understating is that it can't be subdivided, it's such a beautiful setting it would be a shame to see all this go."

At the Sawtell end of Hogbin Dr, the 1.46hectare site includes the former beautiful but now sadly vacant Cockbains Nursery, a man-made lagoon which attracts the local wildlife, a private residence and the cafe all surrounded by mature, lush tropical plantings.

For the past three years, Belinda, Alan, Claire and the staff have deliberately, and successfully, created an "unhurried, relaxed vibe" at the Hidden Link Cafe. Customers can linger by the lagoon, enjoy the shade of the tree canopy and spot the wildlife while enjoying great coffee and food.

"It's really hard to leave, we love this spot and cater to so many community, social, and church groups. A lot of our clients are also elderly, disabled or with mobility problems. Quite a few carers bring people with special needs here to introduce them to social settings and eating out.

"This place has become our second home and we have loved turning up everyday to do something we love. We'll miss the clientele more than they will miss us."

Apart from thanking her customers for their loyalty, support and friendship during the past three years, Belinda was quick to praise staff.

"Working with a great team makes the management side of things a little easier. To those here today and those who have come and gone along the way, this place wouldn't be where it is without all your hard work."

Although the doors will be closing at this address, Belinda, Alan and Claire are determined to "re-create this vibe" somewhere else.

"As I wrote on our Facebook page, it is sad to post this news about the closure," Belinda said.

"But this is not the end of us. We'll be taking a short break and looking at our options, so please like our Hidden Link Cafe Facebook page and we'll keep you posted on our next venture."

FINAL ORDERS: Hidden Link Cafe is open 9am to 4pm seven days until September 24.

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