Idea for restaurant at Campbelltown's Glenalvon House

Glenalvon House. Pictures: Simon Bennett
Glenalvon House. Pictures: Simon Bennett

Imagine sitting back with a cuppa and a cake while enjoying one of Campbelltown's most beautiful historic homes?

That's something Campbelltown deputy mayor Meg Oates wants to see happen.

Campbelltown Council will explore the possibility of providing a small restaurant or cafe within the grounds of Glenalvon House following a motion from Cr Oates this week.

The heritage-listed house and museum on Lithgow Street dates back to 1840, and is currently looked after by the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society.

Cr Oates said there would be great potential to increase local visitorship to the site if there was food, and accessible toilets, available.

"It's a beautiful building and there are not many left like it in Sydney," she said.

"The idea is to get more people able to access it and to help activate Queen Street and the CBD.

"So many people who have come along in the last 12 months, particularly with the Campbelltown 2020 celebrations, said they never knew it was there.

"I'd like to see council investigate whether or not we can make this part of the living, growing centre of our CBD.

"This could potentially be done at the same time as the proposed upgrade of the [neighbouring] RSL club site."

Cr Oates said any changes or additions to the site would have to be heritage sensitive and sympathetic to the facade.

She said many people came from out of area to visit the site on day trips, but Macarthur's own residents rarely took any time to visit Glenalvon.

"I think it's a perfect site for a small cafe restaurant to make it somewhere to go and visit, a respite away from the hurly-burly of the city," she said.

"Parramatta's Old Government House and all those places have been doing this for years. There are historic houses that have found a way to get the public to come in and appreciate what they've got."

Cr Oates said the historical society was not interested in running a cafe themselves, but would definitely like to see more visitors to the site.

Councillor Margaret Chivers was fully supportive of the idea, and recounted spending hours travelling from south-west Sydney to Vaucluse House in her childhood to enjoy a similar experience.

"This is such a special motion that's going to allow young people in our city to be able to do very quickly what it took me hours to do when I was a child, every school holidays," she said.

Councillor Warren Morrison said he thought an eatery would be a great addition to Glenalvon House, especially with the site set to become the first local attraction to receive a QR code so visitors could learn more information on the go.

"A lot of people here might walk past the house but have never been in it," he said.

"To come up with an idea to draw people in - I'm sure the historical society would love to have more people come through too.

"I commend [Cr Oates] on the idea, I'd love to see it happen."

The motion was passed unanimously. A report will come back to the council on the feasibility of the suggestion.