Evviva Café and Bar is located in the Nelson Bay town centre, on the busy Stockton Street that runs down to the marina. From the front it may appear like a small coffee shop, with just a couple of inviting armchairs out the front, however, if you walk in you will be surprised and enchanted, by its large and long interior.
After walking by this café many times, my family and I decided to walk in one Sunday morning to see what it was like inside. We were warmly welcomed by the owner and shown to a table for three, on a high table sitting on wine barrels near the front of the restaurant. Instantly we fell in love with the ambience, the mismatched furniture, the quirkiness of the décor and unique "feel" to this café. We put down our belongings and went for a quick explore...
The main dining area had a dozen or so tables - some high on wine barrels and others low, on vintage desks or distressed, round tables. At the back of the café was an impressive dining room up on a platform, which had a sparkling chandelier hanging from the black ceiling and a sense of old-world charm in every chosen piece of décor. The owner mentioned that the table seated 8 - 12, depending on the chairs, so anyone can book this table for lunch or dinner and enjoy a night with friends in style. Evviva Café and Bar is open for dinner between Thursday and Saturday nights only - check their Facebook for details.
Book your own special dining room for lunch or dinner...
At the back of the café, there was a hidden nook which had a large table and a sign advertising art classes called The Tipsy Easel, that are held in this space. The classes are run by local artist Cory Acorn, with only 10 seats per night. No experience is necessary, it is a fun evening of painting, wine and to "uncork your inner artist". See here for details.
If you continue walking past the kitchen, in this surprisingly long building, you then walk out into a small courtyard out the back of the café. This sunny spot is perfect for afternoon drinks, Happy Hour, tapas plates and lazy Sunday's, in your own secret outdoor garden.
Art classes, lunch in the courtyard and Happy Hour - see the chalk board to today's specials. Image: Original photos from Evviva Facebook
After returning to our table, we had a look through the extensive breakfast menu and chose the Eggs Benedict with Bacon (from the Specials board), Evviva's Granola and raisin toast and a milkshake for our daughter. Although it was busy, as there was a Celtic Festival in town, we were served quickly and with a friendly smile. Their delicious coffee hit the spot on a Sunday morning and we enjoyed our breakfast so much, that we went back later for more coffee and cake a couple of hours later!
Evviva Café & Bar is a complete surprise. For months we had walked past it and thought it was a small takeaway coffee venue, when in fact there is a whole café and bar extended right through the building to the courtyard at the back. It had friendly service, the best ambience in town, quirky décor and opportunities to stay and relax for a whole afternoon, sharing plates with friends and enjoying drinks from the bar.
For us coffee-lovers, we were also happy that we had a new favourite coffee shop in town. Why don't you try it for yourself this weekend? There is definitely more than meets the eye.