In the mid 1970s, Burns Beach Café operated as a one-stop-shop kiosk, servicing an adjacent caravan park where customers had to transverse kilometres of dirt road just to get there.
Today, the café is a little more accessible, and just metres from the white sand of Burns Beach. The café seats close to 200 and welcomes a broad cross section of patrons into a relaxed environment – not just caravan park customers.
“Our growth in the past five years has been astounding with the population growth in the region one of the fastest in Australia,” Part-Owner and Manager Dion Blake says. “The challenge has always been servicing the growth across such a broad market and still not losing the casual charm that flows through the venue. It is the sort of place you feel comfortable stepping in to just wearing your board shorts and thongs, or alternatively you feel just as at home in a business suit.”
Burns Beach Café serves Grinders Coffee’s Fix Four Origin, Fix Coffee Three Origin, and an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe single origin through its Rancilio classe 9.
“The Four Origin, our house coffee, offers customers a medium body, nutty caramel coffee, and is a good all-rounder,” Dion says. “Any customers wanting a bit more, we push them onto the Organic three origin blend with a richer mouth feel.”
Burns Beach Café’s single origin is mostly used for cold drip. Dion says over summer the café struggled to keep up with demand for its cold drip coffees and cold drip teas, to the point where next summer they’ll probably look at having three or four running continuously.
When it comes to food, Burns Beach Café keeps it in step with the feel of the venue.
“While we are very serious about food we never want to take ourselves too seriously. We would describe our food as traditional, with a modish, funky twist, giving it a sense of fun,” Dion says.
The menu changes four times a year and is heavily designed around seasonal and local produce. Must-try dishes for breakfast include the Balsamic Roasted Field Mushroom, the Hot Smoked Salmon, Cashew and Quinoa Granola with Coconut Panacotta, which Dion says “is to die for”. For lunch, it’s hard to go past the Seafood Share Board, Cheese and Bacon Burger or Poached Chicken Salad.
Burns Beach Café has an extensive menu to keep human palates happy, but it keeps the tastebuds of four-legged friends happy too. In 2011 the café launched a Doggy Num Yums menu. Visitors can indulge their pooch in a Raphies Vitamin Shake, a Beerdogs Brewhouse dog beer, a doggy Pupsicle made from Chicken Stock, and plenty more.
“It has been amazing to see how far pet owners have travelled to let their dogs experience our offerings,” Dion says.