New lease of life for vacant cafe

THE lease for the former Left Bank cafe at Lismore's Regional Art Gallery in Spinks Park will once again go out to tender after the preferred bidder withdrew from negotiations.

Lismore City Council, which owns the site, originally put the lease out to tender in May. It received two submissions from the then operators, Gianpiero and Rebekka Battista, and Robert and Debbie Cregan.

However, the Battistas pulled out of the process in July on the day council was to announce the tender winner, citing family reasons.

Last month, the Cregans also withdrew after failing to reach agreement with the Battistas to purchase cafe equipment owned by the couple, even though the council attempted to broker a deal between the two parties.

In parallel negotiations, the council agreed to purchase some of the equipment essential to the operation of the cafe and difficult to remove.

The Cregans had offered an annual lease of $39,600 – about twice the amount offered by the Battistas.

Mr Battista, who is also a councillor, has excused himself from any discussions on the cafe's lease.



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