Kerry O’Connor (left) and Dianne Mancell owners of the River Junction Cafe and Pizzeria in Coraki are disappointed about the Richmond Valley Council’s ruling that prohibits BYO alcohol from being consumed on the footpath outside their cafe.
Kerry O’Connor (left) and Dianne Mancell owners of the River Junction Cafe and Pizzeria in Coraki are disappointed about the Richmond Valley Council’s ruling that prohibits BYO alcohol from being consumed on the footpath outside their cafe. Jay Cronan

Council rejects BYO application

ALFRESCO diners in Coraki may never know the delights of enjoying a slice of pizza and sipping on a glass of wine while taking in the Richmond River views.

The Richmond Valley Council has knocked back an application by the River Junction Cafe and Pizzeria which would allow its patrons to drink BYO alcohol while dining kerbside.

“If you want to enjoy your wine in the breeze then you better go to Ballina,” cafe owner Dianne Mancell said.

“We want to be treated the same as other alfresco dinning venues in any other town.”

Ms Mancell said the cafe was losing business because diners could no longer consume alcohol outside.

“We have just had a cancellation for 18 people for Saturday night,” Ms Mancell said.

“We are really struggling.”

Television identity Mike Whitney and an entourage of diners were forced to sit indoors when they visited the cafe a couple of weeks ago.

“They were very upset they couldn’t sit outside,” Ms Mancell said.

Ms Mancell and Kerry O’Connor took over the cafe in October 2009.

Previous owners had allowed patrons to consume their own alcohol in the kerbside alfresco dining area, Ms Mancell claims.

Ms Mancell said she was unaware formal permission for the consumption of BYO alcohol outside had not been granted by the Richmond Valley Council.

Council manager of environmental health and regulatory control Peter Cotterillsaid permission for the consumption of alcohol on the kerbside would not be granted as the cafe was located within an alcohol free zone.

“There have been issues with alcohol consumption in that area,” Mr Cotterill said.

“There is strong community support for alcohol free zones in Coraki.

“The consumption of alcohol in public areas has been a big issue for the council and the police.”

Ms Mancell said the cafe should be given an exemption from the alcohol free zone.

However, Mr Cotterill said the owners of the cafe had not applied to the council for an exemption.

There was broad community support to make the cafe exempt from the alcohol free zone, Ms Mancell said.



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