1 May 2023

Hot in the Suburbs: Village Cafe opens in 'the heart of Waramanga'

| Lucy Ridge
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man stands in front of cafe counter

Neil Batterley has worked in hospitality for over 20 years. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Waramanga locals have welcomed Village – a new suburban cafe – with open arms.

Village Cafe and Dining opened just two weeks ago but has already gathered loyal customers excited about the great coffee and menu of delicious breakfast and lunch classics. It’s so new, the sign out the front still advertises ‘Satay Kitchen’, the name of the previous tenants.

Eggs benedict

The Veggie Eggs Benedict is a tasty breakfast option at Village. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Neil Batterley is the owner of Village and he said he’s been “humbled” by the response of locals.

“The reaction from the Waramanga and Weston Creek area has been so nice,” Neil told Region.

“It’s been amazingly well received. I couldn’t have asked for a better two weeks. We’ve done no advertising at all: the community has done this for us.”

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The cafe features a bookshelf for kids and colouring-in kits. As a parent, Neil wanted to make sure the space was inviting for families. Neil explained they chose the name Village because he wanted to invoke the idea of a traditional village centre where people gather.

“I always feel that a community is created around where you eat, drink and shop. I wanted to create something that would make people feel welcome,” he said.

“These shops are literally the hub of the village, the heart of Waramanga, and we just wanted to add to that.”

Interior of Village cafe

Village has a bookshelf with picture books and colouring in for kids. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Neil has always worked in hospitality, first in his hometown of Sydney, then overseas and for the last six years in Canberra.

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He says that it’s the people that keep him invested in the hospitality industry, and he is excited to have found a great team for the cafe. After only a couple of weeks working together, they’ve already hit their stride with fast and friendly service while still making time for a few good-natured jokes at the boss’s expense!

Cup of coffee

Village at Waramanga shops serves Red Brick Coffee. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

The menu focuses on recognisable classics with a little twist. Instead of being served on bread, Eggs Benedict at Village comes with Reuben croquettes – fried potato stuffed with pastrami. There’s also a very tasty vegetarian version with potato rosti, mushrooms and spinach, topped with hollandaise and fresh herbs.

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Chef Jamie McGahey heads up the kitchen, and the team serves up breakfast and lunch seven days a week with regular special items like fresh pasta and salads. Once the liquor licence comes through, they’re hoping to introduce a small evening menu a couple of nights a week.

interior of cafe

The new fit-out meant gutting the interior. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Local suppliers like Three Mills Bakery, Red Brick Coffee, Prana Chai and Waypoint Tea are all on the menu. And Neil says they’re talking to more people about local fresh produce.

“We want the community to support us, so it’s important for us to then support local producers as well for that full circle approach.”

Village Cafe and Dining is located at Waramanga Shops, 15 Waramanga Place. It’s open seven days a week from 6:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays, and 7 am to 4 pm on weekends. Follow Village on Instagram or Facebook.

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