Zen Sushi owners Mayuni and Craig Alexander in their Keen Street restaurant.
Zen Sushi owners Mayuni and Craig Alexander in their Keen Street restaurant. Jacklyn Wagner

Keen call for Eat Street

LISMORE'S much anticipated Eat Street should be located in Keen Street, where most of the city's restaurants are already located – not in Magellan Street as council proposes, one submission to the council's outdoor dining policy has urged.

Public comments on the draft policy, which was released last month following extensive consultation with the Lismore's restaurant community, closed last Friday with 32 submissions received.

Speaking to The Northern Star yesterday, Keen Street restaurateur Craig Alexander, of Zen Sushi, author of one of the submissions, said while he was a strong supporter of the policy it was illogical to locate Eat Street at Magellan Street when 18 of Lismore's established ‘after dark' eateries were situated in Keen Street.

“If we are going to promote an Eat Street in Lismore lets go to where all the money is, where the entrepreneurs are invested,” he said.

“Opening a new restaurant is not like opening a new clothes shop. The equipment is very expensive to install and it's not as if you can just lift it up and move it a couple of streets away.”

Mr Alexander said the change in location would mean two restaurants in Magellan Street would miss out on the Eat Street promotional tag, butadded this could easily be overcome by naming the whole CBD as a food ‘precinct'.

Although the council was unavailable to discuss the issue yesterday, asset manager Scott Turner has previously told this newspaper that Magellan Street was a natural fit for Eat Street due to its wide tree-lined footpaths.

The draft policy further explains that the street was chosen because it links Spinks Park with the former high school site that was to house the planned Margaret Olley Art Gallery.

However, Mr Alexander remains unconvinced. “Eat Street itself is apowerful marketing tool and if you go to Brisbane's, Sydney's or Melbourne's Eat Street you would expect to see lots of food places,” he said.

“However, if you drive down Magellan Street at night the only thing that is open is a fish and chip shop. Whereas if you drive from the Rous Hotel down to the Bounty Hotel in Keen Street after 6 o'clock there are at least 18 varieties of food choices.”

A council spokeswoman said yesterday the submissions would be used by staff to formulate a recommendation that will go to council for a final decision in September.



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