I am a freelance writer, business woman and busy mum of two who is on a mission to embrace all Mackay has to offer after moving here for my husband's work two years ago. Join me on my journey...
Published October 5th 2013
Personality Plus at Beach Cafe
No exploration of what Mackay can offer is complete without a visit to the Jivoli on the Esplanade, 35 Bucasia Esplanade, Mackay. This quirky 1950's style café is packed full of personality. Open Tuesday til Sunday, the Jivoli offers simple English fare in a beautiful north Queensland setting where you can really appreciate being outdoors.
You can enjoy a coffee with the birds (literally); eat fish and chips that have just a hint of vinegar to tempt your palate; join in the laughter and smiles that are part of Jivoli's service or simply savour the view of the ocean through the trees.
The Jivoli; with its happy, friendly atmosphere mirrors the warmth of the owner Pam, her daughter Jess and the rest of the Jivoli gang. Pam moved here from the UK several years ago and her café décor and fare reminds me of many teahouses I experienced in my 20's when I lived in the UK. Pam's genuine interest in her customers means you are always greeted with a smile, and her personality is as much a part of the Jivoli experience as the location and the food. Indeed the Jivoli feels more like a visit to friends than a café experience and their marketing slogan indicates that that was always Pam's intent.
The Jivoli includes a cafe and licensed restaurant and takeaway menu. I know of many couples who enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the week on the Jivoli verandah while their children play in the cute cubby house Pam has provided. I have observed mother's groups meeting their regularly and often see bus tours pull in for a quick scone and a cup of tea, and I regularly visitors there for a coffee or salad wrap after a walk along the beach. It is a lovely introduction to the more relaxed lifestyle that Mackay offers Brisbane ex-pats like me. Given I usually have two boys in tow my knowledge of the menu isn't extensive but I confess to enjoying watching my children sip kid's milkshakes out of child-sized milk-bottles or eat hot chips presented with a touch of English style.
Conveniently located, the Jivoli is within walking distance to a simple beachside park amongst shady trees and when its low tide, the shallow pools in the sand filled with shells and tiny fish stretching out to the horizon make the beach a fun alternative. At the park the sandflies can be nasty but Pam even has this covered, with mosquito repellent nestled in little courtesy baskets by the Jivoli entrance for customers who choose to linger into the evening!
Recently the Jivoli on the Esplanade was featured on the Queensland Weekender in August 2013 and the café has attracted quite a following on Facebook. I have made sure to 'like' the Jivoli and have added it to my list of things I appreciate about living in Mackay.