February 27, 2017
Country music legend Chad Morgan paid a flying visit to Blackbutt on Sunday afternoon, and a big slice of the town’s business, community and sporting leaders were there to welcome him.
The occasion was the launch of the Bunya Nut Cafe’s new licenced bistro and Scrubby Creek Bar, a project two and a half years in the making.
Bunya Nut Cafe owner Evelyn Green told an audience of about 100 invited guests who packed out the bistro’s dining areas that she and her husband Tony were very proud to bring the South Burnett’s first licensed bistro to Blackbutt.
The Cafe was already largest employer in Blackbutt’s town area, Evelyn said.
In the past few years it had provided work and hospitality training for about 40 of the district’s young people.
“We know we have some of the best coffee in the South Burnett, and we know we have the best burgers. Now we have the South Burnett’s first licensed cafe, too.”
Husband Tony explained that at one time in the past, the area between the cafe and the adjoining Blackbutt General Store had been a drive-though laneway with petrol bowsers.
The laneway – a private road on the Cafe’s block – disappeared long ago when the front of the Cafe was extended and the bowsers were decommissioned.
But when friend Glen Bell refurbished the Cafe a few years ago with a wooden facade and wooden outdoor tables, Tony and Evelyn liked his work so much the idea of the bistro was born.
Glen said the project wound up taking about 30 months to complete.
The new bistro has been built using recycled wood and galvanised iron sheeting as much as possible.
The main tables in the bistro’s dining area are made of silky oak, and other tables inside and outside the Cafe’s dining area are made using Bunya pine.
The bistro’s walls and roof are made of ironbark, tallowwood and camphor laurel – and for an added touch of quirkiness, an antique petrol bowser has been retained in a corner of the covered outside dining area as a point of interest.
After musical performances by Chad Morgan and his long-time partners The Muirs, which included a rendition of his signature tune “The Sheik From Scrubby Creek”, Chad officially opened the Scrubby Creek Bar by unveiling a plaque, then posed for photos with fans while Blackbutt guitarist Matthew Wild kept the crowd entertained.
Evelyn told southburnett.com.au the Blackbutt-Linville Rail Trail had played a big part in the decision to launch the new bistro.
“I’m 100 per cent behind the Rail Trail,” Evelyn said.
“It brings a large number of visitors to the town – walkers, runners and cyclists – and it’s had a big impact on local businesses.
“I’ve also noticed that many people who come to Blackbutt on the Rail Trail come back. They might come here once for a walk or a run, and then a few months later they’ll drive back just because they had such a good time and like the town.”