Valla’s Beach House Providore is now open for longer thanks to the “happy compromise” reached between new owner Jessica Waddell and Nambucca Shire Council.
Ms Waddell’s application to modify the business’s development consent for longer trading back in February met with both council and community resistance and remained in limbo.
“We applied for 10pm closing seven days/week as a way of future proofing the business and give us flexibility for private functions,” Jessica said.
“But it scared the neighbours … which was not what I intended at all.
“I grew up here but left at 17 and have been travelling the world and working in restaurants ever since ... I forgot how a small town works and the pace of things here.”
The hours now agreed to by the council will see the Providore open until 6pm most nights in winter and 8.30pm in summer, except Fridays and Saturdays when it will stay open to 9.30pm.
“We’ll trial the longer hours during the summer and see how they go.
“At the moment we have special menus on Friday and Saturday nights. The theme changes each week, it could be Greek or Thai or Vietnamese, for example … I do the cooking and the menu goes up on Instagram and Facebook on Wednesdays.
“We’ll keep the fish and chips/burger menu during the summer, so people who are staying on the beach late can still get something yummy on their way home.”
Jessica said she loved being home and operating Valla’s oldest commercial establishment.
“This was the general store, the bank and the post office before it became a cafe.
“It’s fun to be one of the two focal food points of the village … we are doing something slightly different to the other cafe and hopefully between us we can build a food following and make this a food destination.”
Her culinary skills are versatile – she’s worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in London, spent time in Boston, York and New Zealand and more recently working on private yachts, catering to “one per cent of the one per cent”.