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Hillview Roadhouse and Motel on the corner of Albany Highway and Katanning Road in Kojonup recently celebrated a year under the new management of Louie and Jill Carnicelli.

Hillview Roadhouse (Phone 0898311160) is the first petrol station in town if traveling from Perth, and is under the petrol banner of the Gull company. Its position at a northern end of the town is also advantageous for the traveler looking for a good meal or a bed for the night in one of the thirteen units which form part of the Hillview Motel.

Louie is pleased with the progress he has made to improve the roadhouse which he described as being “tired” when he first arrived in town. There has been a big upgrade in the serving area including new floor coverings, new ceilings, better lighting and a new counter, cake fridge and cold room. The cold room has made the biggest difference to the roadhouse. Mr Carnicelli says that doing away with the fridges and replacing it with the cool room should bring the energy costs down considerably. He said “some of the old fridges had their backs to the windows and received the full brunt of the summer sun, so were working flat out just to keep things cool”. Now, without those fridges, the windows are clear - making the serving area and small convenience store lighter and the area more spacious. The other advantages of the cool room, according to Louie is that there is now more cold storage available and as the drinks can be loaded from the back, the traveler can be assured of cold drinks at all times.

When Louie and Jill arrived in Kojonup to take on the management of the Hillview Roadhouse and Motel they saw the need to re-open the restaurant. They believe that a motel should always have a restaurant for it not only adds value to the business but also provides convenient dining for a weary traveller. The restaurant has also been renovated. The carpets were removed and replaced by polished floors, it was repainted and new furniture was added. It can cater for up to fifty people and has a warm and friendly atmosphere.

No roadhouse or restaurant is complete without a good cook, and so a chef from the city was employed. This chef has shown a commitment to the business, bringing his family, including two school children, to settle in the town. He is only one of eleven full time or part time staff employed at the roadhouse – staff that are enjoying the new surroundings and progressive plans and ensuring the roadhouse to be open from 6am to 10pm every day.

Louie and Jill have had much experience in service industries. They worked at Leeman “Snag Island” shop and liquor store then ran a Coolgardie Motel before spending thirteen years at the BP station in Merredin. But now they are happy to celebrate their second winter in Kojonup and are looking for other ways to increase the business.

Louie is pleased to see customers returning to the Roadhouse and commenting positively on the improvements. He smiles and accepts the compliment from the locals when they tell him that it is “as good as it used to be ten years ago’. However, he secretly hopes that both Jill and he will continue to improve the roadhouse and that the reputation of the Hillview will be completely restored and acknowledged as their positive contribution to the business life of Kojonup.

Published: Aug 4, 2009 7:36pm by hobbsbarb.

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