‘Never any doubt’: Bensons Cafe re-opens its doors after 11 months

BACK IN BUSINESS: Bensons Cafe's Sarah Wells, Emily Boaden, Taylor Zarnow, Mason Ewins, Samantha Cridland, Claudia Billiau and Esther Parton. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY 1011amcafe2
BACK IN BUSINESS: Bensons Cafe's Sarah Wells, Emily Boaden, Taylor Zarnow, Mason Ewins, Samantha Cridland, Claudia Billiau and Esther Parton. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY 1011amcafe2

For the owner of Benson’s Cafe, Taylor Zarnow, there was never any doubt the popular cafe would return to Summer Street.

On Wednesday they opened their doors for the first time in 11 months after a deliberately lit fire left the business unable to operate.

“We’re happy to be back up and running,” Ms Zarnow said.

Ms Zarnow said everything in the cafe was new but the layout remained as it had been before the fire.

She said it took around four to six weeks to get everything ordered and into place.

“We wanted to have people say it ‘hadn’t changed much’,” Ms Zarnow said.

She said no one thought it would take 11 months to re-open and some staff had gotten other jobs in the meantime.

“But we’re very lucky that they all came back to work,” she said.

“To have that loyalty amongst staff is amazing and they’re all glad to be back.”

Ms Zarnow said no one was dwelling on the circumstances of the fire.

ALL SMILES: Bensons Cafe's Emily Boaden, Sarah Wells, Samantha Cridland, Claudia Billiau, Esther Parton and owner Taylor Zarnow on Wednesday. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY

ALL SMILES: Bensons Cafe's Emily Boaden, Sarah Wells, Samantha Cridland, Claudia Billiau, Esther Parton and owner Taylor Zarnow on Wednesday. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY

“It happened 11 months ago and we’re looking to the future, we want to catch up on what we’ve missed out on and make everything as good as possible for our customers,” she said.

“We appreciate the community’s support because they’ve gotten behind us and a lot of them have been coming in.”

Bensons Cafe’s neighbours, the Orange Bakehouse are also set to reopen soon.

Owner Lisa Nguyen said she was looking forward to re-opening.

“Hopefully on Monday, it’s been a long wait,” Mrs Nguyen said.

She said everything had gone smoothly since they were able to get into the building to prepare the business to open.

“We opened a restaurant on 308 Summer Street, which was part of the plan before the fire, but it has delayed a few things,” Mrs Nguyen said.

“We’re looking forward to a big year next year.”