Thursday, 19 July 2012

One of Gambo's hidden treasures.....

 Smallwood Interpretation Centre, Gambo, Newfoundland and Labrador

Tucked away in one of the prettiest corners of Gambo is Cashin's Chestnut Tree Cafe.  It sits right on the NL trailway, is a stone's throw from the Smallwood Interpretation Center, with an awesome floating dock.....and is within shouting distance of the only pub in Gambo, The Trailway. 

The cafe's owner, Bill Cashin relocated the current building, which originally opened in 1938, and served the locals as one of the main general stores in the area for almost 70 years.  He has kept many of the original features and actually still uses the old weigh scale that was used in the store to weigh things such as hard cheese, peas, beans, salt meat and bologna.

He has created a beautiful atmosphere, whether you are looking for a cup of tea or coffee, soup, chili, or a great sandwich made fresh to your specifications.  As well, there is a great selection of fresh baked goods daily, ranging from the traditional date squares, bake-apple cheesecake, or maybe you feel like a fresh raisin scone or a gigantic snowball.  

In addition, it still serves as a general store, carrying simple daily staples, as well as many specialty items.  If you happen to be in the area this summer, drop by and see for yourself!!!

Upon approaching the main entrance, to your right is a delightful seating area on a 
rustic covered deck...

Enjoy a great meal with a bunch of friends, have a game of Scrabble, or simply curl 
up in a big chair and enjoy a coffee or one of the many varieties of tea available.

It is hard not to relax and want to sit just want to stay awhile and take 
in the warm, inviting surroundings.....

There is local artwork, available for purchase, displayed throughout the cafe and covered deck.

From the moment you enter the front door, you feel welcomed.  Your eyes will be drawn to the original board ceiling, antique tables, complete with Newfoundland tartan place-mats, and beautiful old mismatched china...... some old dry-good items that used to be sold in the store......

 ....and an old weigh scale at the end of the original counter....

 .... maybe you'd fancy this old parcel wrap set-up, used to wrap grocery items such as hard cheese, salt meat or a few slices of bologna....

 ....or this, my favorite, an old telephone that was used in the store back when telephone 
service  was first established....and still works!!!!

After you order, from the great menu board, sitting atop an antique upright piano.....

there is lots to look at while waiting for your meal, like this old sewing machine....

.....great old advertisements signs....

 and pieces of beautiful, local artwork that can be purchased...

There is something magical, almost a camaraderie among all the patrons of the Chestnut Tree Cafe.  When you walk in, someone always offers a chair for you to join them or they pull out any spare chairs from their table for you and your group, if needed.

When I go, I sit with the greatest bunch of girls from around town, some of whom I never really knew, but at the cafe, I just pull over a chair and join the group.....It is just awesome!!!

There are many laughs and it is not uncommon to see desserts and cookies come to the table with several forks for sharing.  

It is a wonderful place to get a traditional breakfast, second to none, or grab a late lunch 
and catch up on local news......

 Upon leaving, most people are drawn to the front window displays, featuring old items 
used in the origianl general store.  
There is definitely something that keeps drawing you back to Cashin's Chestnut Tree Cafe.  Maybe  it's just a combination of Bill's welcoming warmth, as he personally greets everyone 
that comes through the door, the great food, and the simplicity and ease that everyone 
seems to slip into as soon as they enter.

While at the cafe this afternoon, I enjoyed a great coffee and a chat with an old 
friend, Vern. She laughed as she said, "You know, when I come here, I just don't want to leave".  

I think that sums it up!!


  1. There needs to be more places like this around. How charming!

  2. Love this! :)

  3. Wow!!!!!!!! you've covered everything,fantastic job.

  4. Really nice job, Kathy, We have been there for lunch and really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere.

  5. What a wonderful and refreshing window into the past! It was not open during my last visit! And I too am originally from Dark Cove!

    1. oh, now you've made me so curious. thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. It looks so wonderful and charming. What a lovely place to be able to go to and enjoy good food and good company and a good atmosphere.

  7. Great blog Kathy !! Come over to mine sometime if you want !! Look at us, the Blog Queen's of Norman's Road !! LOL

  8. Beautifully written. The cafe certainly has a warm, inviting ambiance. It feels like home.

  9. Great blog Kathy, coming home this summer, hoping to connect, perhaps sit and chat at the chestnut, Crystal

    1. Hi Crystal

      I look forward to that---pencil it in--ha ha!

  10. Kathleen,
    WOW... thank you for sharing.. I visited the shop in May with My 2 boys and talk about memories. The date square and snowballs were AMAZING.. And being from "Upper Dark Cove" memories.. Again, Thank you for sharing, thank you for being you!..Ed Oldford aka "Eddie"

  11. Oh Ed---thank YOU!!

    So good to hear from me is you get a chance...Take care.

  12. With Sheila's being a shadow of its former self places like this are needed to make new memories :).

    1. Hi Shane

      You're right...and some of us may even remember the old Cashin's General Store. We have to cherish this's our heritage!!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  52. Like many I have not been to Billy's cafe yet as I haven't been back to Gambo in a few years. Totally love this entry about the place we used to know as "Cashins General Store" back in the day when Barb, Rick, Neil Cashin and I hung out there. I remember the old roll of Brown paper for Salt fish. The weight scale for potatoes and the like. Mr. and Mrs. Cashin,the original owners, were well past retirement when I was a boy but we always found time to have a chat with Genevieve (Gen) about the daily goings on in Gambo and area. Miss those days all the same. That store had to have been the cleanest in Gambo in those days. Pretty sure Mrs. Gregory Cashin came from Carbonear. I should do a short entry for the history on this store. That would be nice I think.

    Roderick Brentnall

  53. Kathy, this is the first time I saw this very beautiful blog.....really nice my dear. The Chestnut Tree Café is a wonderful place.....

  54. Found your blog today! Enjoying the stories, pics. etc., and some of the recipies will be made in my kitchen very soon!!! It's awesome...

  55. Billy Cashin you are the best !!!!!!