PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
While some restaurants and cafés try to create personality with a colour scheme or some interesting décor, The Bank Bazaar had its character built into it back in 1880. The grandeur building that stands proudly in the small country town of Richmond was for most of its life a bank with a cement-encased vault, trap doors and a bomb-proof safe. 100 years on it had become dilapidated and worn down. The towering jacaranda tree that once showered the garden in a blanket of violet petals stopped blossoming and cracks began to spread through the ceiling. When the NAB Bank moved out in 2008, Megan and Rod Storie bought the old building and restored it beyond its original beauty.
The bottom floor where the bank tellers had been was gutted to turn into an antiques shop and café. Dramatic medieval bronze lanterns were hung from the tall ceilings and the huge space became embellished with antiques and artworks from around the world. The jacaranda tree began to flower again and curious locals came to enjoy coffee amidst the treasure trove of beautiful things.
Amidst the chaise lounges, sculptures and candelabras, diners relax at the elegant café. Its gold cake cabinet displays home-made cakes, gourmet pies and golden biscuits. Couples chat over a glass of wine, local mothers read under the shade of the now-blooming jacaranda tree and children play in the garden.