Council calls for expressions to run its popular cafe
AFTER closing the popular Staging Post cafe in Gatton earlier this year, Lockyer council has opened expressions of interest to run the facility.
During a special meeting in May, Lockyer Valley Regional Council decided to close the Lake Apex dining facility along with the conference centre.
Officers argued it was “inappropriate” for council to operate a facility that would be in direct competition with local business owners during the pandemic.
But five months on, the council is calling for expressions of interest to run the cafe and/or the functions centre.
Deputy mayor Jason Cook spoke with the Gatton Star and said unfortunately it wasn’t an “operation for council to be running”.
“With council wages, it’s not viable for council to be operating it,” he said.
“Hopefully we can get a really good operator in there that can re-open it and get it back to business as normal.”
The expression of interest calls for businesses to take on the Staging Post cafe and/or the Functions Centre at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre.
Cr Cook said depending on the interest, it would either be leased together, or separately.
He didn’t expect the cafe to be operational prior to Christmas.
“It’s a process that’s going to take time, but we need to take that time to make sure due diligence is done,” he said.
“It would most likely open in the first quarter of next year.”
Interested parties were able to inspect the facility on Tuesday this week, with another opening scheduled for 10am on October 12.
From there, expressions of interest will close on October 22.
It’s expected tendering for the facility will follow shortly after the closing date.