In an idyllic waterfront location on the wharf at American River, you will find the attractive, nautically-themed Deck Cafe.
Owned and run by Cath O’Dolan and partner Michael, this popular cafe had 10 people queueing up outside, waiting for it to open, on its first day of business in October 2015 and its popularity has not waned since.
After the first few meetings of the Rebuild Independence Group (RIG) at American River, about four years ago, it was decided that it would be great to have a cafe alongside the boat-building shed.
Some funds were obtained as a grant from KI Council and the shed and cafe were built by volunteers.
Luckily, Tony Klieve, President of RIG, is a Master Builder, Steve Berzel is just finishing off the beautiful stone wall along part of the wharf, and Work For The Dole helped lay the paving stones outside.
‘Peasey’, a Work For the Dole recipient, was a popular local who also helped lay the paving stones.
He died recently and his ashes were scattered off the wharf.
According to Michael, “He could fillet a whiting in 60 seconds!”
In its first year, the Deck Cafe served 5000 people in the first quarter – which is what Cath and Michael thought would be their quota for the whole year.
The cafe is popular with a 50/50 mix of locals and tourists, and their food is prepared using fresh fish from Kingscote and locally-grown herbs, with regular deliveries from the mainland.
The food and delicious organic coffee is prepared and served up by four regular and a couple of part-time friendly and cheerful helpers. Cath’s two daughters help out when it gets really busy.
The recent addition to the lunch menu is ‘The Square Meal’ an enormous square platter for two, so named because meals aboard ship always used to be served on square platters.
All the produce is from KI (except the SA prawns) and this luscious platter comprises: Turkish bread from KI Bakery, SA prawns, lamb chorizo from Southrock, sticky figs, local oysters, sheep’s cheese, home-made relish, Fryar’s eggs – hard-boiled, (the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith MP, who recently lunched there, got double-yolks!), olives, dukkha from Source and olive oil.
The Colony Cove Cider is a popular choice and Dudley Wines are available.
Cath and Michael like to support local artists who display and sell their work from the Cafe and there is also local produce and indigenous artifacts for sale.
Plans are underway to improve the outside area to provide more seating.
So, pop down to the boat shed to see how much progress has been made building The Independence, and then enjoy a coffee, cake or meal at The Deck Cafe.
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