WITH only weeks to go until the new Crawford Street Lifestyle Precinct is unveiled, the local hospitality industry in Queanbeyan is undergoing significant change.
Three inner-city cafe businesses are up for sale along Monaro Street, and the iconic Central Cafe is leading the pack, listed on the Seek Commercial website at $690,000.
Owner Alex Mastoris said he was looking to focus on new business interests interstate.
‘‘We’d always set a time limit on being here, and we’ve done that and now it’s time to move on to other ventures,’’ Mr Mastoris said.
The Central Cafe has been a main street staple in Queanbeyan for more than 35 years and its famous large and hearty meals have proved a draw card for locals, tourists and Canberrans alike.
Mr Mastoris took over the cafe in early 2007. He said the Central was still a strong brand name in Queanbeyan, and that it was a profitable business model. ‘‘It’s a very strong business here and it always will be,’’ Mr Mastoris said.
‘‘Frankly, I don’t want to sell it, but the fact is I can’t be in two places at once,’’ Mr Mastoris said.
Further west along Monaro Street, the Rendezvous Coffee Lounge is also for sale.
Sisters Renata Prpic and Anicka Risteski took over the cafe last year in May, and Ms Prpic said that ‘‘there’s a few reasons’’ for the sale, citing the long hours involved as one factor.
Country Heir is another local coffee shop up for sale, and while owner Vicki White said business was good, she said she needed to focus on her busy family life.
‘‘It’s a good business. Business is pretty strong in Queanbeyan, and generally we’re really busy here.
‘‘I have three of my grandchildren living with me, and I’m just flat out. I raised six children and now I have five grandchildren as well that I like to be involved with. ‘‘I just can’t fit it in anymore. My life is so busy I cannot fit the shop in, that’s my thing. But it’s a good local business,’’ she said.
Despite the turnover in inner city cafes, Copper Kettle Cafe owner Frank Bresnik said there was money to be made in the Queanbeyan hospitality industry.
‘‘People who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and work hard can still make a good go of it in Queanbeyan,’’ he said.
The 7 Grams Cafe coffee cart based within the NSW Government building at 11 Farrer Place has also been recently listed for sale, with a $50,000 asking price.