How popular cafe will be revitalised after COVID shutdown
SEVERAL local businesses have put their hand up to take over the Staging Post Cafe, after the council made the decision to cut their losses and shut shop.
In May, Lockyer Valley Regional Council announced it would suspend its operation of the cafe and function rooms at the cultural centre in Gatton.
The council reported an operational loss, despite changes to systems and staffing models.
The decision was met with uproar from the community, with residents putting forward a petition to keep the cafe open.
Deputy mayor Jason Cook said local businesses coming forward to take over the cafe was a “positive step forward” for the facility.
“I think its really positive we’ve had some informal interest,” Cr Cook said.
Councillor Janice Holstein hoped to have the cafe leased out as soon as possible.
“Given the interest that we’ve already received for leasing the cafe, I think it’s the right move to make,” Cr Holstein said.
“Hopefully we can get it leased out and back up and running as soon as possible.”
Councillors raised concerns about facility operating costs, such as electricity, water, internet, and gas, as they were not independently metered for the different sections of the cultural centre.
Mayor Tanya Milligan said a lessee wouldn’t want to pay for everyone else’s usages.
“We’ve put out the EOI’s, but we have got to have a plan. I would want to know if I was putting in an EOI,” she said.
“How do you as a business person make a decision if you don’t know what the costs will be.”
With the centre to undergo major capital expenditure, council’s CEO Ian Church said it was possible independent metering could be sourced.
“I don’t see why we couldn’t look at it within the scope of that work and have separate metering,” he said.
Council approved three leasing options for the facility
1. The Staging Post Cafe only
2. Both the Staging Post Cafe and Lockyer Valley Functions Centre facility
3. Leasing only the Staging Post cafe, with the function centre being managed by council, who would use the leased business or suitable catering business to provide food services
Its expected the facility will go to market in September/October.