Musical chairs costing business
ARCHITECTS and Heroes café owners say the City of Subiaco cut their alfresco licence by 20 per cent last month, just three days after they set up expensive new tables and chairs.
Ronald Ngo said the City demanded they remove four chairs after receiving 16 complaints, despite admitting that planning staff had incorrectly marked out the alfresco area in the first place.
“We’re in a stand-off because the council won’t give us evidence for these complaints,” Mr Ngo said.
“For us, you only need to look at the City of Perth for both legal and common sense; they have a 600mm walkway clearance for alfresco while Subiaco has 2m.”
Mr Ngo’s partner Lyly Phan said the council visited the café and discussed their plans “right down to the colour of the furniture” to ensure they had ticked every box before applying.
Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale said a person with disabilities and a pedestrian with a pram were among the complainants.
“I am prepared to look at compensation for extra cost incurred by not marking the area properly, as that was our responsibility,” Mr Tindale said.
Double Double owner Gav Bellinger said he had been waiting a month for the City to send him the invoice for his alfresco area.
“I follow them up about three times a week because I need that piece of paper for my alfresco area liquor licence,” Mr Bellinger said.
“It’s very frustrating because this is happening after already waiting three to four months for the City to approve my change of use .
“It has cost me $2000 a week in excess rents, excess staff and excess stock for every week that I don’t have my extended licence.”
The Little Pantry owner Aleks Kesic said it was common knowledge within the hospitality industry that no one “in their right mind” would open in Subiaco.
“The City has cost me thousands and thousands of dollars without so much as a hint of regret,” Ms Kesic said. “They should be thanking me for activating a once dead zone into a vibrant community hub, not making it so hard that at times I have wanted to shut my doors and walk away.”