New cafe in a class of its own
MEMORIES of the old schoolyard tugged at the heart and purse strings of Kenny and Shelley Rielly, who gave the former Greenup Provisional School a new lease on life by opening a new cafe there at the weekend.
The school opened in 1918 and struggled with student numbers throughout the years, opening and closing several times before class ended for a final time in 1976.
The couple purchased the 10 acre property in Inglewood to preserve its history for the next generation, unable to bear the thought of it falling into disrepair.
"Kenny wanted to save it, because it's very sentimental," Mrs Rielly said.
"He was born and bred in Inglewood, and the trough in the yard is the very same trough he drank out of when he was in Year 1.
"He's 60 now!"
The schoolyard was turned into a 50-bed dormitory and campground under the Apex Camps banner, but when the Reillys' path crossed with professional chef Colin Craig, the wheels were set in motion for a new venture.
Mr Craig approached the couple with the idea of CC Cafe, an outback cafe that offers all the breakfast and lunch staples among the beautiful surrounds of the Coolmunda Dam.
Both Kenny and Shelley are sawmillers by trade, and were able to team up with a local carpenter to restore the original part of the school and build a new, big entertainment area.
"It's all our design and all of our timber," Mrs Rielly said.
"It's very flashy for this area out here."
As newcomers to the hospitality industry, the couple faced several challenges over the three months leading up to the grand opening, but the hard work was well worth it.
"We were run off our feet, and I mean that literally," Mrs Rielly said.
"I was overwhelmed by the response.
"I was so pleased that I had the opportunity to poke my head around the corner at one point, because I saw kids playing and running around on the acreage while mum and dad were able to sit down and have brekkie in peace, that made me happy."
The cafe features locally sourced products, with the aim of further promoting the Inglewood and Goondiwindi region.
It is open from 8am to 3pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with hopes of eventually expanding.