24-hour NightOwl is in the wings

CONVENIENCE chain NightOwl may soon be the first non-petrol station retail outlet to trade around the clock in Lismore if the council approves its development application.

It may be quickly joined by fast food giant McDonalds, which has also applied to operate a 24-hour drive-thru after completing works at its Brewster Street premises costing more than $80,000 to meet development conditions, franchisee Jim Moffitt said.

“It has taken us about 12 months to meet the council’s conditions,” he said. “We have had to put up a three-metre high fence and chains around the car park so we don’t create noise for our neighbours.”

While McDonalds and NightOwl are both waiting for council approval to operate past midnight, Hungry Jacks has been operating around the clock without permission, a council spokewoman said.

She said the council had written to the francisee Philip Brown informing him the company was in breach of its agreed trading hours.

However, Mr Brown, who confirmed he had been trading 24 hours since November, said to his knowledge he had not received any letter or other communication from council about his trading hours.

“I’m not aware of any letter from council about our trading hours,” said Mr Brown, who bought the franchise last July. “We aren’t doing anything the 24-hour petrol station next to us is not doing.”

Meanwhile, the Lismore NightOwl franchisees, local couple Nick and Ros Woodham, yesterday said they hoped to open their Woodlark Street store – the first 24-hour convenience store in Lismore – by late June.

“Locals tell us the town centre needs a modern and fresh convenience store with a broad range of well-known branded products, easy parking and better trading hours,” Mr Woodham said.

“It’s been a long time coming and it’s finally here. We are going to bring a standard of convenience shopping to Lismore which has never been experienced before.”

The store will also house an Eagle Boys Express, allowing customers to make their own snack-sized pizzas.

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