Big plans for water­front eatery

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

Au­gusta’s pop­u­lar Colour­patch Cafe has been green-lit for a ma­jor ex­pan­sion and trans­for­ma­tion into a top­notch eatery.

Owner Steve Wall fronted the last Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River coun­cil meet­ing for 2018 to out­line plans for re­vi­tal­is­ing the eatery into a res­tau­rant with ca­pac­ity for late-night func­tions in a nod to Don Hancey’s old Colo­nial res­tau­rant, which closed 35 years pre­vi­ously.

“I be­lieve it is the best lo­ca­tion in the South West,” Mr Wall said.

“Hope­fully, the Colour­patch ren­o­va­tion will have some­thing for all res­i­dents and tourists.

“Au­gusta is a chal­leng­ing mar­ket . . . the fea­si­bil­ity of a small bar li­cence is re­quired to make a busi­ness of this size vi­able.”

Coun­cil­lors voted to sup­port a par­tial change in use at the site, en­dors­ing op­er­a­tional hours to re­flect ex­ist­ing break­fast ser­vice, and some 11pm clo­sures.

Au­gusta-based coun­cil­lor Mike Smart said the pro­posal had “unan­i­mous” sup­port from resi- dents, de­spite three reg­is­tered ob­jec­tions.

He in­tro­duced an amend­ment to al­low up to 20 func­tions each year seen as cru­cial to the ven­ture’s suc­cess, with the func­tions to end at mid­night, ex­cept for 2am for New Year’s Eve.

Cr Smart also de­clared an im­par­tial­ity in­ter­est in the pro- posal, which al­lowed him to vote on the item after he also said he lodged a pos­i­tive sub­mis­sion for the bar’s liquor li­cens­ing ap­pli­ca­tion.

“The Au­gusta com­mu­nity has been wait­ing 20 or 30 years for a fa­cil­ity with this sort of ca­pac­ity,” he said last week.

“The Au­gusta com­mu­nity is hugely sup­port­ive.

“I’ve never seen any­thing close to this level of sup­port (for an ap­pli­ca­tion).”

De­spite sup­port­ing the fi­nal item, coun­cil­lors Naomi God­den and Peter Lane had some con­cerns, with Cr Lane chid­ing col­leagues for con­sid­er­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of the rede­vel­op­ment, which “can’t be a con­sid­er­a­tion of coun­cil”.

Cr God­den wanted the res­tau­rant’s 20 late-night func­tions con­sid­ered later, “once the com­mu­nity has ex­pe­ri­ence of the bar”.

Be­cause the 20 func­tions were added at the meet­ing, Cr God­den did not be­lieve ad­ver­tis­ing of the ap­pli­ca­tion suf­fi­ciently in­formed res­i­dents.

“I think that is dif­fi­cult to be mon­i­tored and it hasn’t been ad­ver­tised,” she said.

But she agreed it was “an ex­cit­ing step for­ward for Au­gusta” and in­creas­ing num­bers of young cou­ples with chil­dren mov­ing south would be able to “go on a date”.

Mr Wall said a his­toric 1949 yacht would be ren­o­vated for the bar area to serve up to 120 pa­trons.

Pic­ture: Harry Gough

The Colour­patch Cafe.

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