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New cafe promises good brew, banter and bikes

By Ray White Whitsunday

MANY good ideas have been born over a beer between friends, and the newest addition to Airlie Beach proves one or two along the way can also help in turning plans into reality.

Le Shack on Main St opened last week and promises good coffee and banter as well as advice on what to do while holidaying in the region.

The men behind the new cafe, Jordan de Mamiel and James Kontis, are originally from Canberra and have always had a knack for new business ventures.

On moving to the region, they spent two years building the Airlie Beach pontoon, an eight-person vessel that was available for hire.

However, they sold off their labour of love right before the COVID lockdown and with some spare cash in their pockets, looked for a new undertaking.

Enter: Le Shack.

The cafe and travel agent fusion sits in the old reception of Beaches, which has been abandoned since Cyclone Debbie.

Owners of Le Shack James Kontis and Jordan de Mamiel. Picture: Laura Thomas

The pair recruited friends to help give the cafe a facelift and Mr Mamiel said it was all made possible thanks to some help from their next door neighbours.

“VB pots from Beaches and Bunnings snags probably built this place,” he said.

With a wide range of teas and specialty coffee on offer, Mr Kontis hoped the laid-back venue could act as a meeting place for visitors and residents alike.

“I hate going places where you feel like they just want to kick you out straight away or you get forced into buying something,” he said.

“We just wanted to make somewhere where people can come in and relax.”

Le Shack opened last week and has bicycles and electric scooters for hire. Picture: Laura Thomas

The cafe also features a swing where visitors can stop and take a photo to pair with their coffee.

A good quality brew at an affordable price was one of the main focuses of Le Shack and after weeks of giving cups away for free as they trained, Mr Kontis said they “had nothing but positive feedback” about their blend.

Le Shack also hires bicycles and electronic scooters to help visitors see the sights of Airlie Beach from a different angle.

Mr Mamiel said consistent bookings were encouraging for the region despite the challenges of coronavirus.

“We see a lot of Australian travel now coming through,” he said.

“We’re actually shocked about how many people are staying here for three or four days, the last few years it was just the backpackers staying for a couple of nights.

“If a lot of things are going down, it’s the perfect time for someone to rise up.”

Le Shack is open from 7am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday.

Source: Whitsunday Times

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