I’ve seen it so many times before, walked past, driven past. And at the end of my afternoon at Suburban Cafe I wonder how I have for so long. I guess it might be because it’s always been there, like part of the furniture. But I’m reminded after a short hour, just how great places like this can be, to rediscover and even to make your acquaintance with for the first time … if you’re me …

It’s late Sunday afternoon and even though it’s chilly, I am determined to see the weekend off with my lovely bestie and a glass of vino (and perhaps a small nibble if we feel so inclined).

We arrive at Suburban and take a seat outside to catch the last of the afternoon sun.  We order a glass of Pinot Gris each and a platter to share.

Our lovely waitress Maggie, totally makes our experience here today. She is so warm and has such a gentle nature that we love her instantly. After bringing our platter over to us (which contains such delights as: calamari, haloumi, meatballs and turkish bread and a selection of lovely dips) we get to chatting with her.

Maggie has been a West End hospitality bunny for years – having worked at Tempo, The Joynt and has been a part of the Suburban “family” for 2 years (it has been open just a little longer than that).

“I love the area, the people. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. During the floods we lost power for 8 weeks… and I was so heartened by the response from the community. It’s a wonderful place to be; we have so many regulars that are just so loyal to us,” Maggie tells me.

The owners of Suburban are Renou and Moises, a couple who “rile each other up but have a wonderful working relationship; they are fantastic bosses.” And as we speak and I observe a little more of those coming and going here, I begin to think maybe that love is creating a ripple effect right through the rest of the staff and even engulfing its loyal following of customers.

As we sit, Maggie jumps up and hugs and kisses a couple of regulars goodbye – this place has such a wonderfully warm and happy vibe, almost familial and it makes me want to come again, just to be immersed in it.

Our wine is lovely, our food is delicious and Maggie is a joy. As we’re leaving, Maggie tells us, “if you’re ever around, pop in and have a drink with me.” What a doll! We file out behind a couple of other customers to whom Maggie calls out, “How was lunch? Are you coming back in later tonight?” “Of course we are,” they answer,  “we always come back in.”

Suburban makes me feel at home and isn’t that the kind of feeling we’re all chasing when it comes to finding that special place to call ‘your regular?’ ….

Until next week,