4 November 2022

Charming cafe, acreage and 1840s homestead in bushranger country to go under hammer

| Dione David
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Rollonin Cafe in Bowning

‘Shamrock and Thistle’ comes complete with the Rollonin Cafe – a Bowning treasure. Photos: Ray White Rural Canberra/Yass.

If the walls at 142 Bowning Road in Bowning could talk, they might never stop, given the long and coloured history of the 19th-century property.

Comprising a historic country home, an acreage and a cafe, ‘Shamrock and Thistle’ is a triple threat.

Some eight years ago, not ready to sell, owner Renata Ryan knocked back a $1 million offer for the cafe. Today, retirement beckons, presenting endless opportunities for a buyer with the vision to write the next chapter of this property’s story.

“I have made lifelong memories here,” Renata said.

“My late husband and I enjoyed renovating the homestead back to its original state and building the successful cafe.”

Set on eight acres of freehold land, it features an 1840s homestead that has been fully restored while maintaining incredible charm and history.

The home was originally built and run as the Cobb & Co Station Inn before being converted into a private residence in 1876.

When the owner of 86 years listed the home, the current owners purchased it and turned it into what it is today.

The cottage with three to four generously sized bedrooms has one to two separate living areas, four open wood fireplaces, a large kitchen with timber slab benches, a double garage and a workshop.

READ ALSO Uncovering the mystery of some postcards, a blacksmith, and the Bowning pub

Located in a separate studio, the third bedroom can double as a perfect place for weekend guests or a great bed and breakfast.

Original fixtures, such as the distinctive roof shingles under the tin and convict bricks, remain.

It is characterised by wooden floorboards and ornate rose medallions on high ceilings. Ten coats of paint were stripped off the front doors during renovation. They now feature clear lacquer.

Historic homestead in Bowning

The lovingly restored yet preserved 1840s homestead is sat on eight acres of freehold land.

And then, of course, there’s the Rollonin Cafe.

Set in a ‘slab hut’ designed and built in 2007/08 to replicate local buildings from the 1800s, the Rollonin Cafe offers an authentic country experience for all.

“It’s the perfect place for tourists to stop between Sydney and Melbourne. We’ve also helped create so many memories for our wonderful customers over the years, hosting happy events, including weddings and different functions at the cafe,” Renata said.

“Many of our customers and guests I now call friends.”

To this day, the cafe plays host to bushranger re-enactments and horse-drawn carriage rides in support of the rural community at the annual country fair.

READ ALSO Enjoy the country hospitality of Yass Valley with a day trip to Binalong and Bowning

Ray White Rural Canberra/Yass CEO George Southwell described the Rollonin as “well and truly a favoured cafe of both for locals and travellers”.

He said if the overall property were to be summed up in a word, it would be “opportunity”.

“You’ve got blocks that can be subdivided and you can separate the commercial property from the historic Cobb & Co home,” he said.

“At the moment, the commercial property is just a cafe, but you could easily lodge a DA to build homes on six blocks, look at short-term accommodation in the homestead, and while weddings are only a minor part of the offering at the moment, that could be expanded easily.

“The reality is Renata and her late husband didn’t do this on the cheap; they built it for quality and longevity.”

The regional pub property market recently experienced a surge, and George reckons other hospitality offerings such as short-term accommodation, cafes and wedding venues were not far behind.

“They’re currently the most undervalued profit-driven opportunities in the country, but that will change,” he says.

“To be able to buy a business like this, on an acreage with freehold, within an hour of Canberra for under two million – that’s phenomenal.”

Located just seconds off the Hume Highway and under an hour’s drive from Canberra or three from Sydney, Bowning in the Yass Valley is a picturesque village.

Bushrangers tales pepper its history – during the 1860s the Binalong-Bowning road was controlled by bushrangers Johnny Gilbert and Ben Hall after gold was found in Young – but now you can write your own story.

To find out more about this beautiful property at 142 Bowning Road in Bowning, or to arrange an inspection before it goes under the hammer on Sunday, 20 November, call George Southwell at Ray White Rural Canberra/Yass on 0429 838 345 and check out all the latest listings on Zango.

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