Kate Tobin puts together some delicious cafe fare for hungry customers.
Kate Tobin puts together some delicious cafe fare for hungry customers. Donna Jones

Is this Gympie cafe the reincarnation of a local icon?

WHEN Gympie born baker, TB Condie commissioned Gympie Building Company to demolish, and then construct an arcade of ten shops in Mary St in 1960, one of the first tenants was a restaurant known simply as The Dorith.

Over the years the names for Shop 10 Condies Arcade changed to The Black Cat Restaurant and the Raging Bull Steakhouse and others.

The shop housed community newspaper The Weekly Observer for a number of years in the '90s and more recently became a curtain and soft furnishings shop.

Now, The Dorith has almost come full-circle with Dorita's Cafe now serving meals and creating memories as the former restaurant once did.

"We've had customers come in here and say 'we had our 21st at The Dorith',” owner of Dorita's Cafe, Dorita Booth said.

The Dorith was a popular spot for birthdays such as this joint 21st birthday celebration as reported by The Gympie Times on Thursday, August 3, 1967: Pictured are Mr. and Mrs. H J McGrath, Iron Street, Lyn McGrath, Lex Brooks, and Mrs. A. Brooks, Hilton Road.
The Dorith was a popular spot for birthdays such as this joint 21st birthday celebration as reported by The Gympie Times on Thursday, August 3, 1967: Pictured are Mr. and Mrs. H J McGrath, Iron Street, Lyn McGrath, Lex Brooks, and Mrs. A. Brooks, Hilton Road. File

While not a new business, it is a transformed one, with a new location and more space to create.

And two new employees, Lenore Brown and Kate Tobin, coming on board to help the business to grow.

Ms Booth used to have her cafe and cake-shop opposite the Royal Hotel in Monkland St, but the new position suits her much better.

"For some reason, I just feel really comfortable here,” she said.

She still makes her magnificent confectionery creations with "Dream Cakes By Dorita” but gets to work out of a purpose built cake room inside the new cafe.

There she has all the room she needs to mix, bake and decorate cakes for all occasions - including a special Spiderman one for a very lucky three year old, at the moment.

Dorita Booth hard at work airbrushing a Spiderman cake in her special cake room inside Dorita's Cafe.
Dorita Booth hard at work airbrushing a Spiderman cake in her special cake room inside Dorita's Cafe. Donna Jones

That's aside from the huge commercial kitchen she has put in at the back to bring the cafe into the 21st Century.

"It's a massive kitchen, but when I moved in it needed a lot of work. Basically we had to re-invent the wheel here,” she said.

There's also plenty of room at the front of the cafe with a dozen or more tables for diners and a comfortable lounge area for those who want to relax on one of the sofas.

Ms Booth said the decor is still a work in progress but it's a labour of love.

She has done all the metallic and pearl paint finishes on the walls herself and she completed the ground concrete flooring finish on her own as well.

"It gives it an industrial vibe,” she said.

"It's very eclectic.”

The menu, too, is going to be a little eclectic as Ms Booth intends to make it as inclusive as possible.

"I want to cover all aspects of dietry requirements including vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, low sugar, raw foods and keto items,” she said.

"I want everyone to be able to find something on the menu for them.”

Dorita's cafe is open from Tuesday to Thursday for lunch.

On Fridays and Saturdays they also open for dinner until 10pm and then open late from 2-4am for late night revellers to get an after-party feed before heading home.

Something Ms Booth is keen to implement are theme nights such as Friday night's Burgers and Boardgames night, and Saturday's Mexican menu.

"We will be doing the Mexican nights every second Saturday night, starting tomorrow,” Ms Booth said on Friday.

She also wants to implement an evening delivery service some time in the future.

Dorita's Cafe is currently BYO but she is working on getting a liquor licence for the cafe for their evening sessions in another quirky coincidence.

"Did you know The Dorith was the first licenced restaurant outside of Brisbane and the Gold Coast?” she said.

Gympie Times


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