Cafes enjoy their place in the sun

NOWRA CBD is almost one year into a two-year trial that waived fees on businesses offering alfresco dining.

Cafes and restaurants faced up to 13 separate charges for outdoor dining areas depending on their location and requirements.

A number of cafe owners had not offered outdoor dining because of the costs.

Seating on the footpath is popular where cafes and restaurants offer it and helps businesses add more tables to their venue without having to extend their premises.

It was costing Beau and Fiona McLean, who own Ninety One Junction cafe in Junction Street, Nowra, $1025 per year to have three tables on the footpath.

“People want to sit out the front, they want to watch people.

“It’s great for small cafes because they can add more tables to their cafe. I’d encourage all cafes to put dinning out on the street,” Mr McLean said.

Shoalhaven City Council will reassess the implications of abolishing approval fees on outdoor dining on council footpaths at the end of the trial period.

On a nice day Chris King from Nowra Hill always prefer to have a coffee sitting outside rather than indoors.

“I remember outside dining used to be for people who smoked. Now eating out is very popular,” he said.

“On a Saturday this place [Coffeelicious] is packed with cyclists. Eating out is good if the weather is nice.

“You don’t want to be inside on a beautiful day.”

Meanwhile on Berry Street plans to replace the streetscape with a safer and more modern design are taking shape.

The estimated cost of the work is $460,000 and involves widening the path to create a cafe precinct.

Work expected to be completed this year will include resurfacing the street from Worrigee Street to Emporium Lane.

Plans are also being discussed about including designated dining spaces along Berry Street.

There will also be provision for street furniture, bins and trees.

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