New life on the menu at cafe in the city's heart

KEEN TEAM: Tower Central Cafe staff from left, Kyle Ladlay, Alona Curtis, Tara Jones, and Michael Milcic.
KEEN TEAM: Tower Central Cafe staff from left, Kyle Ladlay, Alona Curtis, Tara Jones, and Michael Milcic. David Nielsen

AFTER a lengthy closure new owners have taken over the cafe space in Tower Central, the development around the Ipswich Post Office.

The new owners are breathing life into the central city cafe and adding their own touch to a fabulous space in Ipswich.

The post office is such an icon for the central city and given the passion and enthusiasm the new owners have, I suspect the Tower Central Cafe Ipswich will have its own special iconic place in the cafe scene.

The cafe was opened under new management on August 5, 2013, and the reaction has been very positive.

Tara Jones is a fully qualified chef and is co-manager along with her partner and head chef Michael Milcic.

"We want this cafe to be fresh, friendly and a happy place that is warm and inviting," Ms Jones said.

There is no doubt that they are well on their way to achieving these goals.

Tower Central Cafe Ipswich is impressive with the vibrant colours, the tasteful decor, great range of food and friendly service.

Tower Central Cafe Ipswich is open from 6.30am serving up a fantastic breakfast including either a fully cooked offering to muesli, pancakes, raisin toast and bagels.

All well priced and all made fresh on the premises.

"We have a large range of cakes and slices, all homemade and created with fresh, quality ingredients. These are ideal for morning or afternoon teas," Ms Jones said.

"The lunch menu is designed to cater for all tastes and we know that some of our customers want a lighter lunch while others are looking for a meal and we cater for all these needs," she said.

Lunch can include lasagne or quiche that is served with a fresh salad and chips, they also do a range of burgers, fish and chips, salads, serving of chips plain or beer battered.

They also have a range of fresh sandwiches made to order, and toasted sandwiches. All lunch items are made on the premises.

"Being in the commercial hub we are aware that people are often on limited time so we offer a pre-order service that will help us to have a customers lunch ready for dining in or take-away on time," Ms Jones said.

"We make it fresh and have it ready for the time they set.

"Those just dropping in or catching up with friends or business clients can dine in and enjoy some time out."

Coming to be part of the new look Tower Central Cafe Ipswich is a dream come true for Ms Jones and Mr Milcic.

"It is a family business in the truest sense from the ownership to the involvement of many of my family," she said.

"My mother Karen has been amazing in her support working in the kitchen and waiting tables.

"My grandmother cooks and is so supportive and my other family members are working in the business including Kyle Ladley who is the barista and Alona Curtis a waitress.

"Other family help out as well, it's fantastic."

Tara and Michael both attended the Hospitality Training Association to train as chefs and both have had a real passion to follow this career pathway and only meet while on placement at the Summit Restaurant at Mt Coot-tha in Brisbane.

They both have had a range of experiences from working in all types of restaurants and cafes to making the decision to move to New Zealand where they worked at a snow retreat and then moved to a franchised cafe outlet. They were plating up pre-cooked food and both found it frustrating and away from their love of cooking and creating.

The opportunity to come back and run a family business was too good to refuse and now they get Monday to Friday to be wonderfully creative.

Away from the weekdays the café is able to be booked for functions at night any night of the week and throughout the day on Saturday or Sunday for groups of 20 or more.

"We have had groups in on the week-end for breakfasts, other functions and it is a great place to hold a celebration or function," Ms Jones said.

The venue is set back from the main street but is just within the complex off Brisbane St with both indoor and outdoor dining options.

The outdoor is protected from the elements but is a tranquil setting to catch up with friends or to hold a meeting.

The indoor space is fully air-conditioned. It has a fresh, professional feel yet very friendly.

They enjoy chatting with customers or to just make sure that their needs are being met.

There is a real sensitivity to the needs of the customer.

The café serves Vittoria coffee and Kyle Ladley has developed a special blend that is proving to be a real winner with the clientele.

They also have a good range of teas, and make a fantastic milkshake, iced coffee and the ever popular hot chocolate made with real chocolate.

"We all know that when we get around mid afternoon the energy level will drop so we have the afternoon blues pick-me-up where we have special priced drinks and snacks," Ms Jones said.

"We support local suppliers for as many products and services we can.

"It is important to support each other and it has to start with us."

Tower Central Cafe Ipswich is at 114 Brisbane St, Ipswich, and trades 6.30 am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and caters for special events at other times.

Checkout specials and updates on Facebook at towercentralcafe. Get a cafe loyalty card.

They have discounts for seniors and emergency service workers.

For information or bookings telephone 3812 3157.

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