One of the first on the scene, Jacob Ben-Porat took this image of the Rainbow Cafe in Nimbin engulfed by flames on Wednesday morning. Photo Contributed Jacob Ben-Porat
One of the first on the scene, Jacob Ben-Porat took this image of the Rainbow Cafe in Nimbin engulfed by flames on Wednesday morning. Photo Contributed Jacob Ben-Porat Contributed

Rental spaces in rebuilt Rainbow Cafe

PLANS are afoot for Nimbin’s cultural hub - the iconic Rainbow Cafe - to be rebuilt.

Owned by the Tuntable Falls Community and leased to Jodee Tichborne, the ‘heart and soul of Nimbin’ was gutted by fire, which started behind the cafe, on the morning of August 13, 2014.

The blaze on the town’s main street left the centre of Australia’s alternative capital blackened, and 20 Rainbow Cafe employees out of work.

Following the devastating fire, The Tuntable Falls community formed the Rainbow Rebuild group, a collaborative that has been working on a design for a new cafe for the past 18 months.

As the initial sketch design came in way over budget, the group now hope create rental spaces to bring in extra income.

“We now need to refine and simplify our design considerably,” Megan James told Nimbin Goodtimes.

“At this point, all we can definitely say is that there will be a Rainbow cafe/restaurant; there will be a veranda and a garden at the rear of the café; there will be a party wall along our southern boundary with the museum site – and there will be other rentable spaces as well as the café.

“These spaces will ideally be used as offices or studios for professionals, specialist services or local artisans.”

Ms James said due to the group’s current financial constraints, they unfortunately cannot guarantee the nature of the businesses that will use these spaces.

“As well, we are still committed to reinstating the essential and most-loved features of the old Rainbow Café, to preserving the heritage streetscape and complying with council and building regulations – and to working with the museum site owners to establish a co-ordinated design,” she said.



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