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Sue farewells iconic cafe

Thursday, 31st December, 2015

An emotional Sue Mobbs served locals at the iconic Orange Spot cafe for the last time yesterday after selling it to a local party. Sue is pictured (right) with her daughter, Chaile Torney, who has managed the business for the past 18 months alongside partner Jimmy Barlow, who is holding Chaile’s five-year-old son, Silas. PICTURE: Emily Roberts An emotional Sue Mobbs served locals at the iconic Orange Spot cafe for the last time yesterday after selling it to a local party. Sue is pictured (right) with her daughter, Chaile Torney, who has managed the business for the past 18 months alongside partner Jimmy Barlow, who is holding Chaile’s five-year-old son, Silas. PICTURE: Emily Roberts

By Erica Visser

After a decade spent serving fresh juice and hot chips with gravy to her many loyal “regulars”, Sue Mobbs has passed on the iconic Orange Spot.

Sue was yesterday met with mixed emotions as she tied up loose ends at the Argent Street cafe whilst her daughter, manager Chaile Torney, counted the till for the final time.

“The Orange Spot has been open since 1929 and in that time it’s had 14 owners,” Sue said.

“I’ve had it the longest out of all of them. But my focus has been on my other cafe, Serafini’s, and Chaile wants to go onto new things.”

But it was business as usual for the popular hangout spot which was set to reopen early in the new year under management of new owner, local woman Rae Barlow.

Sue predicted a seamless transition whilst reminiscing on the past 10 years noting, with a laugh, there had been numerous “ups and downs”.

“It is the end of an era but it hasn’t been without dramas. When they sold the arcade across the road they wouldn’t renew my release so I had to set up here. 

“There was then the controversy with me painting this place bright green and orange because of heritage issues.”

The cafe also inadvertently became the site of an Australian first in 2012, when a young child climbed into a skill tester and was stuck inside the machine.

Sue was “hysterical” as she waited for emergency services to arrive and free the boy, who remained cheerfully oblivious to the fuss.

“That was a real shock. I was frantic whilst he was sitting there smiling, pushing lollies and toys down to people.”

The once Silver Spade Hotel owner commended locals as “wonderful, polite people” who had made a decades-long career in hospitality worthwhile.

“It’s a pleasure to deal with Broken Hill people. I love people, I couldn’t sit at home,” she said.

“I don’t think I’ve had a cross word said or a serious complaint in the time I’ve been here.”

Staff were treated to a night of celebrations yesterday with bottles of Moet flowing during a surprise limosine ride.

Chaile planned to spend 2016 studying to become a teacher’s aide whilst working as a hairdresser whilst her partner and co-worker, Jimmy Barlow, hoped to train to become a police officer.

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