New business profile - Fairway Coffee & Eatery


With Italian-style coffee, western and Thai food, room for the kids to play and sweeping golf course views, a new Lismore business offers a cosmopolitan experience in a relaxing country setting.

“This space has been under-utilised and now we’re giving it some energy back,” Fairway Coffee and Eatery co-owner Peter Nicol says about the Lismore Golf Club on the Hamilton Highway.

Peter, a Lismore lad, moved to Melbourne in 1977 and, during a varied career, has spent 30 years in hospitality.

His partner, Jittima Sitirit, came from Pipun, Nakhon-Sri Thammarat in southern Thailand seven years ago to study hospitality at William Angliss Institute of TAFE in Melbourne.

The pair met while working in the Melbourne Entertainment and Convention Centre.

“My mum is Dorothy Nicol, who has the fashion collection,” Peter said.

“She’s nearly 90 so we came back to spend time with mum.”

Jittima, who had worked at Thai restaurants in Melbourne, said commuting to the capital for work could not last.

“When we moved back, at first we went back and forth to Melbourne. We needed to do something because we can’t go back and forth four hours every day.”

The space at the golf club was available and the pair decided to go into business for themselves.

“They had the kitchen but no tables or chairs so it took a few months,” Jittima said.

Groups come from Skipton and Camperdown for Jittima’s Thai cooking, which is the businesses point of difference, but Fairway Coffee and Eatery also offers western food such as the classic all day breakfast, home-made burgers, schnitzels, spaghetti, and sweet options including carrot, sponge and flourless orange cakes.

“We’ve got a sandwich bar and salad bar opening soon,” Peter said.

“Eighty per cent of customers are local and they can’t eat Thai every day.”

They are also diversifying into functions for golf club members, birthdays and recently did catering for 60 patrons at Waking the Giants.

The business uses Melbourne-roasted Genovese coffee and authentic Thai ingredients sourced from specialist grocers in Melbourne and Geelong.

“Some Thai dishes, we have to use specific chili or specific leaf that is hard to get,” Jittima said.

Jittima said she had modified her recipes for Australian tastes. “For now my chili paste is not very spicy.

“Because I come from the south – we eat very spicy food – I have to decrease my chili.

“We don’t eat sweet too much. For example, green curry should be sweet and a bit salty but not very sweet.”

Peter said the location was a drawcard as well as the food and coffee.

“People come in and say ‘We’ll get take away’ then look and say ‘No, we’ll eat here.

“Mums can sit in here and the kids can play outside. They can relax and know the kids are safe.”

The café is open from 6 am until 4 pm and take-aways are available if customers order by 5 pm and pick up by 6 pm.
Phone 0479 163 496.