The oldest commercial
building in Leura
Our little town of Leura is rich with history. The Wayzgoose Diner happens to reside in the oldest commercial building in town. Built in 1901 by the Milgate family, who owned the land that would one day become the town of Leura, It was originally the family’s residence and well as a business, and then went on to become the local printing press.
The building even survived the disastrous fire of 1957, where over 100 homes, 2 churches and many shops in Leura were destroyed. A quick thinking local hero saw the side of the building catch fire, and without any water to fight the blaze, used his axe to chop out the part of the building that was on fire!
In 1982 the building was transformed into a cafe named The Pumpkin Inn, serving hearty vegetarian food. Since then it has become a favourite food spot for locals and visitors alike.
A FAMILY RUN BUSINESS FOR OVER 17 YEARS
Original owner of The Wayzgoose (then The Wayzgoose Cafe) Mark Alchin took over the business in June 2003. Mark’s daughter Bec was living in Sydney at the time and moved back to The Blue Mountains in September 2003 to manage the cafe. Mark and Bec ran the cafe together for 17 years, until early 2020 when Bec took over as the new owner.
Bec grew up with her parents owning several different businesses along Leura Mall, including an art gallery from 1980 - 1983 and a children’s clothing shop named Fancy Pants from 1985. Bec also has fond memories of visiting The Wayzgoose (then named The Pumpkin Inn) for dinner on Friday nights to watch Nigel Foote & Dawn Egan play music.
So... what exactly is a WAYZGOOSE?
A wayzgoose (or wayz-goose, waygoose or wayzegoose) was at one time an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St Bartholomew's Day (24 August). It marked the traditional end of summer and the start of the season of working by candlelight. Later, the word came to refer to an annual outing and dinner for the staff of a printing works or the printers on a newspaper.
So what has this got to do with a diner, you ask? Well, our diner happens to reside in the oldest commercial building in Leura, which was once used as a printing press. When deciding on a name for the diner, what better way to combine the history of the building - it being a printing press - and food! So the Wayzgoose was born.
HOME OF THE FAMOUS FLOWERPOT SCONE
People travel from fare and wide to try our famous Flowerpot scones, and once you’ve had a taste you’ll understand why! Light and fluffy, with delicious berry jam and fresh whipped cream, our scones never disappoint.
Back in the 1980s, when the diner was a cafe named The Pumpkin Inn, the original owner came up with the perfect recipe, and it’s been the same ever since. Even the jam is the same!
SAVE THE WAYZGOOSE
In 2015 there were plans to knock down the building where The Wayzgoose Diner resides and redevelop the site. The locals of Leura were strongly opposed to the plans, and passionate about the rich history of the building, so they rallied together to save the building.
After many years of fighting, their efforts were successful and the building was saved, and this important piece of our town’s history is still standing today.
2020 - fires, floods, a pandemic, and... a rebrand!
2020, what a year! It started with horrific bushfires, with half of The Blue Mountains being on fire, the whole state engulfed in smoke and Leura feeling like a ghost town with locals evacuating and tourists staying well away.
In March, just as things felt like they were getting back to normal, Bec took over as the new owner of The Wayzgoose Diner. Two weeks later, COVID19 was declared a pandemic and Australia went into lockdown. The diner was allowed to stay open, but only for takeaway. Although it was an uncertain and scary time, it was also a chance for Bec to work on the diner, freshen it up, research and rewrite the menu, and figure out the new direction for the business.
Coming out of lockdown has seen the diner busier than its ever been, and we are positive about the future.