I am not sure when I first met Arnie at the Rymill Park kiosk. He was a funny guy; good sense of humour, full of opinions and a perennial candidate for Mayor of Adelaide. While he was always sure of his ground, he respectfully acknowledged your view, and a great conversation always ensued.
He made good coffee and sold cakes, sandwiches and ice creams. The menu expanded over the years, and when he had to sub-let the café for a few months in 2012 when he first took ill, the sub-lessees brought a gourmet feel, and an increase in clientele, especially for breakfast.
When he returned after a period away, Arnie took up the challenge and with his family, continued the excellent breakfast service. Sadly, about six months ago Arnie's illness got the better of him.
While it was a sad discovery last Saturday, it was encouraging to meet Arnie's son-in-law, Paul, who has taken over the cafe and in his honour renamed it Arnie's Cafe. They have just received approval for a plaque to be installed on his favourite bench near the kiosk.
Paul and the team are doing a great job with the cafe. Coffee is better than ever, and my scrambled eggs were perfect and plentiful. There is an extensive menu suited to all tastes.
The great feature at Arnies is, above all, the atmosphere by the lake. Even on a chilly day, there is no better waterside eatery in Adelaide. With the unique small boats and a nearby playground for the kids, things haven't changed from the fun and ambience since I started going to the cafe with my parents in the sixties.