IT HAS survived one fire and two floods but after 12 years, the doors of Lismore’s iconic Left Bank Cafe will close for the final time on August 27.
Its high-profile owners Rebekka and Gianpiero Battista yesterday told The Northern Star they wanted to spend more time with their two young children, one of whom has undergone a kidney transplant.
“After 12 years it was a very hard decision. It’s been a very sad time with lots of tears,” said Mrs Battista, who is also the head chef.
“But going through the tender process (to renew the lease on the council-owned building) gave us the opportunity to consider what else we wanted to do and re-evaluate what we wanted as a family.”
The couple opened the cafe next to the Regional Art Gallery a couple of days after they were married in 1988.
Over the years it has seen many of the nation’s most famous faces, including politicians Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett, and entertainers such as Play School heart-throb John Waters.
“We’ve also seen many people engaged, get married, celebrate births and deaths, and seen businesses born,” Mrs Battista said.
Mr Battista said they would remain active in the community. He was elected to council in 2008 and Rebekka is the face of the cancer charity Our Kids.
Lismore council yesterday said it was in negotiations for another party to take over the lease.