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Cafe 22 rises from the ashes

NEW BEGINNING: Taweasita Akers and Ben Akers out the front of their new cafe in Dickies Arcade, Proserpine.
NEW BEGINNING: Taweasita Akers and Ben Akers out the front of their new cafe in Dickies Arcade, Proserpine. Tamera Francis

CAFE 22 on Main St is set to reopen with a new name and new tastes, despite devastating loss.

Owner Taweasita Akers three weeks ago learned her landlord wasn't going to rebuild the site, despite being told otherwise.

Two years ago, Mrs Akers purchased the beloved art gallery cafe as she found it hard to continue her career as a designer in Australia.

Mrs Akers fell in love with the cafe's concept and wanted to purchase the business the moment it was on the market.

"I love food and I love art, so it was perfect for me,”she said.

She was heartbroken when informed the cafe would not be rebuilt.

"I was told a day before the block was put on realestate.com - through text message,” Mrs Akers added.

Although saddened and stressed, she understood why the owners couldn't afford to rebuild the site after Cyclone Debbie.

"It ruined everything inside,” she said.

A burst water main from upstairs had flooded the entire business.

Mrs Akers said roadworks had slowed business in the cafe's last six months, but the support of locals kept it going.

But then Cyclone Debbie came through and destroyed the Proserpine icon that employed 11 staff.

Rated number one on TripAdvisor, Cafe22 was a beloved local spot in Proserpine.

Mrs Akers said she still had all the cafe equipment and tables and chairs stored at her house.

Mrs Aker's new cafe will open in three months at Diecke's Arcade in Proserpine. It will be "a lot smaller cafe and takeaway restaurant”.

A new Asian dinner menu will be available, plus all the old favourites.

"We have to change the name as it won't be on 22Main St. Spice Me Up Whitsunday is what we are thinking,” Mrs Akers said.

The smaller cafe "will be a beautiful place to sit, talk and relax, with the same chef, more varieties of food”.

Topics:  cafe 22 cyclone debbie local business proserpine whitsundays

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