IT WAS a popular swimming hole in Lismore in the 1920s.
Now the Duck Pond, in South Lismore, is providing a scenic vista for coffee lovers who are flocking to a new cafe.
According to the new owner of Duck Pond Espresso Bar, custom is up 70% since he took over the premises in January.
Will Atkinson has brought his passion for plants, flowers and food to the location and it seems it's paying off.
"I have wanted to open a cafe for quite a while but I couldn't find a suitable spot," said the Bexhill resident.
"I was after something with a courtyard.
"Fortunately the Duck Pond cafe came up for sale."
Mr Atkinson, who worked in the florist industry for many years in Sydney, brought in four loads of plants and flowers, including beautiful waterlilies, and transformed the outdoor area.
Nearby, South Lismore Duck Pond Landcare Group, in conjunction with the Lismore City Council, has also done plenty of hard work clearing weeds.
In past years, before the coral tree infestation took hold, the area was used for various activities, such as grazing cattle, sandmining, and even as a training ground for football.
According to historical records, it was also a popular place to cool off nearly a century ago, and the council even built bathing sheds for people to change into their swimming costumes.
Since taking over the cafe, Mr Atkinson has been busy baking delicious, fresh food.
Expect such lunch fare as pear, parmesan and rocket salad; a Thai beef salad, Caesar salad and sandwiches on fresh sourdough.
The cafe's homemade banana and date bread has also quickly become known to locals who want a snack with their espresso or latte.
And Mr Atkinson has bircher muesli packs for breakfast ready to go and salmon bagels that are made fresh and delivered to the cafe by Shane Duniam, of Cracked Willow Catering, in Lismore.
Of course the only problem with all of this is that, between the view, the great food and the ambience, you'll have to be quick to get a seat at an outdoor table.
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