Walker St Cafe and Bar has breathed new life into Casino's heritage Commonwealth Hotel building

MAKING IT A REALITY: Emma Lynch and Tyler WIlliams
MAKING IT A REALITY: Emma Lynch and Tyler WIlliams

Emma Lynch and Tyler Williams have given one of Casino's heritage buildings a new lease on life.

Last year, the young couple fully renovated the old Commonwealth Hotel on the corner of Walker and Canterbury Sts to create a contemporary dining space, with a clean design and a modern menu.

They also freshened up the exterior of the old pub, retaining the original art deco sign, but giving the brickwork a good clean.

The Walker St Cafe and Bar, which opened to the public in December, has brought a breath of fresh air to the town's dining scene, serving Allpress coffee, fresh meals prepared with locally sourced produce, and offering cocktails, beers and a wine list.

The haloumi burger

The haloumi burger

"We wanted something new and modern, because there are a lot of young people moving to this area that are looking for something that's a bit different," Emma said.

We wanted something new and modern, because there are a lot of young people moving to this area that are looking for something that's a bit different

Emma Lynch

The cafe has a popular take-away cabinet with sandwiches and sweet treats, and a sit down day time menu with breakfast classics like bacon and eggs, house made muesli and sourdough toast, along with lunch specials like The Ploughman's Platter with prosciutto, salami, whipped lemon ricotta, boiled eggs and avocado, and the Pulled Pork Burger with green apple slaw and smokey bbq sauce.

The 250g locally farmed Sirloin Steak served with seasoned duck fat potatoes and sauteed greens is their nod to being located in the beef capital, but there are plenty of vegan and gluten free options too, including a vegan burrito, which Emma says is fast becoming one of the most ordered items on the menu.

The exterior of the heritage Commonwealth Hotel on Walker St has had a clean up and the interior remodelled into a fresh and modern cafe and bar.

The exterior of the heritage Commonwealth Hotel on Walker St has had a clean up and the interior remodelled into a fresh and modern cafe and bar.

On Friday and Saturday nights, the cafe and bar is open for dinner, offering a seasonal menu, along with a cocktail list, wine and boutique beers like Yulli's and Stone and Wood - as well old favourites like VB and XXXX.

"On Saturday we're open from 11.30 and we're open all the way through to dinner, so people are welcome to come in for cocktails or drinks on a Saturday afternoon," Emma said.

Emma, 30, and Tyler, 35, who met while working in the art department of reality TV program, The Bachelor, and now live in Lismore, have backgrounds in design and hospitality - a combination they have put to good use in their new venture in Casino.

Now the cafe is up and running, they're in the process of transforming the old pub accommodation upstairs into six stylish serviced apartments.

"They've got their own kitchenette, a bedroom, living room and bathroom, so they're really nice for travelling business people or families or whoever wants to come and stay," said Emma.

"Hopefully they'll be done by the middle of this year."

Emma and Tyler have drawn on their backgrounds in design and hospitality to create their new cafe and bar in Casino.

Emma and Tyler have drawn on their backgrounds in design and hospitality to create their new cafe and bar in Casino.

Emma who originally hails from Coffs Harbour and Tyler, from Cronulla, say they've been overwhelmed by the response they have had from Casino community.

"Right from the start, they've been so supportive, Tyler said.

"Our tradies really went out of their way to help us during the renovation and now they're supporting us by coming to have dinner.

"It's a just a really friendly. supportive community."