TIME TO DINE: Owner and director of Brinx Cafe & Deli Kristy O'Brien is eager to welcome customers back into the restaurant.
TIME TO DINE: Owner and director of Brinx Cafe & Deli Kristy O'Brien is eager to welcome customers back into the restaurant.

Popular cafe sets sight on reopening with fresh COVID look

A PROMINENT Stanthorpe cafe is set to reopen in a matter of weeks however it’s a dining experience guests won’t be familiar with.

Brinx Cafe and Deli has been restricted to takeaway meals since March, when coronavirus restrictions were at their peak.

Owner Kristy O’Brien said the closure of the dine-in section of her Maryland St store had forced her to re-evaluate the business’s priorities.

“One of the things we’ve had to do is table service, which is something I’d wanted to do for a long time, and it’s forced my hand to do it,” Ms O’Brien said.

“It’s made me use my problem-solving hat because I couldn’t be reliant on foot traffic if people weren’t coming into the shop.

“It makes you look at what’s viable in your business and where you make your money, before this there were things that cafes were doing that probably weren’t viable.”

Changes have been made at Brinx to ensure they are COVID safe.
Changes have been made at Brinx to ensure they are COVID safe.

Brinx is one of the last cafes in the Granite Belt to return to normal trading.

Additional measures will be implemented in the restaurant, according to Ms O’Brien, who said her delay in reopening was motivated by ensuring the business was COVID safe.

“We’re adding Perspex between the booths, it’s just me being a bit proactive as well because with the way the world is, I don’t think this will be the last pandemic,” she said.

“It’s just that extra security and privacy for people too, and a way to not feel like someone is encroaching on your space.”

Stanthorpe Chamber of Commerce president Graham Parker believes the Granite Belt has won the “COVID lottery” with tourism continuing to grow.

However, Mr Parker said initial restrictions forced many businesses to scrutinise their business models.

“I think it’s given people the opportunity to stop and take a look at their operation,” Mr Parker said.

“So many of us are caught up in small business – working in them rather than on them.”

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