Toowoomba’s library cafe revives old-school picnics

GRAB a bite from the cabinet or opt for a seasoned chef to put something together and then head to the green Civic Square of the new Toowoomba City Library.

Tomorrow the long-awaited Garden City Library Cafe opens.

Its European street cafe inspired chairs and tables are appealing for breakfast, lunch or a coffee date. But cafe owner Lynn McLean is on a mission to "bring back the picnic".

"Our cafe embraces people, all people, no matter who or what they are; the young, the old, the serious, the funny and quirky," she said.

As well as picnic packages, expect all the breakfast and lunch favourites. The cafe's chefs can customise meals to suit dietary requirements and serve gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan meals.

LITERARY LUNCH:  Garden City Library Café owner Lynn McLean, chef Nick Scorer and manager Judy Keleher  .  Thursday May 12 , 2016.
LITERARY LUNCH: Garden City Library Café owner Lynn McLean, chef Nick Scorer and manager Judy Keleher . Thursday May 12 , 2016. Nev Madsen

Ms McLean's hospitality journey started more than three years ago when she bought Rendezvous Cafe. The real estate agent moved into the industry simply because she loved food.

Many years ago her children were on feingold diets which required a lot of research into creating foods without preservatives or artificial flavours.

Two of her sons also required extra care. Now one works part-time at Rendezvous Cafe and will also work at the new cafe.

"That's my history to understanding food and why we look forward to serving the full spectrum of our society - it really is a place for everyone," she said.

With activities like markets and community days at the Civic Square set to grow, Ms McLean said the cafe was designed to "take you away from everyday life" and would become the perfect spot for good food and lofty conversation.

Garden City Library Cafe will also be fully-licensed. It will be open Monday to Sunday from 6.30am-4pm.

Topics:  cafe culture picnic toowoomba toowoomba city library

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