Handmade chocolates return with opening of the New Paragon

Chocaholics of Katoomba, relax. The New Paragon is back, turning out those delicious handmade sweet treats in a warm and cosy cafe at the top end of Katoomba Street.

Owner Robyn Parker, who was forced to leave the historic old shop a year ago after negotiations over a new lease failed to secure either more maintenance or a reduced rent, said she had tried to create something different in the new premises next to the Avalon restaurant.

The new shop is also in an art deco building, albeit much smaller than the previous one.

It used to house the Gazette's Katoomba office but there's no sign of the old desks, counter and piles of newspapers.

The walls are now painted in striking stripes with a touch of glamour gold, there are a handful of small tables and chairs for sit-down customers taking coffee and cakes, quaint old gifts from the previous shop line the shelves and, of course, there are the chocolates - glass cases of them or box-loads.

"The Paragon was always a special place to go and we wanted to make it special again," said Ms Parker.

"Once we're up and running, we're hoping to bring some of the old products back. We've done a lot of research on the history so we're looking to revive a lot of lost products."

"While we've lost part of our history,'" she said, referring to the classic fittings in the old building which the Paragon inhabited for 102 years, "we're hoping we will be able to embrace other parts."

Long-term staff member, Roxy Weaver, is back at the helm, as are some of the other former employees. And the chocolate-making machines which once whirred away upstairs at the old Paragon are now set up at the rear.

The New Paragon will trade seven days a week and in the evenings from Friday to Sunday but Ms Parker said she would ultimately like to open every evening.