Walking up Crown Street Mall, Wollongong coffee aficionados would be forgiven for having deja vu.
The Gong Cafe has recently reopened, just one door down from its previous location.
Owner Manoj Budhathoki said when the lease was up at his previous location, he didn't want to part ways with the customers he had grown to know.
"I didn't want to lose all my customers, I didn't want to just sell the business," he said.
But what he didn't expect was for the wait to move into the new store. What was meant to be a three month renovation turned into a year long wait.
"There were some delays with construction and certification, because the building is so old, we had to clean everything up and then do it over again."
Now reopened, the cafe is light and bright, with Monstera plants for a green lift to the decor.
Already, Mr Budhathoki said he's been seeing regular customers return, even after the year-long interruption.
"I'm surprised that even after one year, people are coming back again," he said.
Regulars are returning for coffee from the Sutherland Shire-based specialty roaster Migliore Espresso Roasters - where Mr Budkathoki used to work - and the cafe breakfasts offered by the store. In addition to the cafe standards, Mr Budhathoki serves up Nepalese dumplings, called momos, stuffed with ground chicken, lettuce and herbs served with a tomato and sesame broth, in a nod to his heritage.
The rest of the menu includes a Nepalese twist, and Mr Budkathoki said as the cafe finds its feet in the new store he plans to expand the menu.