Council makes early opening for shire cafes permanent after one-year trial

Cafe culture: The change is aimed at encouraging greater economic activity and social interaction in town centres. Picture: John Veage
Cafe culture: The change is aimed at encouraging greater economic activity and social interaction in town centres. Picture: John Veage

The earliest approved opening time for cafes in Sutherland Shire has been moved forward to 5.30am permanently.

Previously, it was 6am, although some cafes did not observe the rules.

The change was approved by Sutherland Shire Council after a 12 months’ trial during which only one objection was received.

Mayor Carmelo Pesce, who has cafes at Cronulla, Gymea and Elouera beach, declared a pecuniary interest and did not vote when the matter came to council.

The time change, which applies in all B2 Local Centre, B3 Commercial Core and B4 Mixed Use zones, was approved unanimously.

A staff report said the aim of the trial was to encourage greater economic activity and social interaction in town centres to meet the increasing demand for services by early morning commuters, swimmers, walkers, bike riders and other active local residents.

The trial, from March, 2017 to March, 2018, allowed cafes in selected town centres to open for inside and takeaway trade from 5.30am, with outdoor seating starting at 6.30am.

The report said, in a recent survey of cafes in Cronulla, Gymea and Kirrawee, participants reported benefiting from the trial.

Some business owners said it had become an essential part of their daily trade and customers expected them to be open at 5.30am.

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