Bayswater: Howdy Cafe’s bid to move to Bert Wright Park hits snag

Bert Wright Park in Bayswater.
Bert Wright Park in Bayswater.

HOWDY Coffee’s bid to relocate to a sandy pocket in Bert Wright Park in Bayswater has hit a snag, after the council knocked back its request for a five-year lease.

At the December 4 planning committee meeting, Bayswater Council voted 9-1 to seek expressions of interest for the installation and operation of a caf or kiosk at the 150 sq m site in King William Street, with a five-year lease.

Howdy Coffee approached the City to help find new premises, needing help to relocate from 11 King William Street – which will be demolished as part of Yolk Property Group’s Heir development.

But officers said seeking expressions of interest would allow the City to seek proposals that provided “maximum benefit” to the community.

Owner Charles Stewart, who asked council to negotiate a five-year lease, said the caf’s goal had always been to support the growth of the Bayswater community.

“We love being around the people around us…now we can’t imagine leaving Bayswater neither could our customers,” he said.

“We are an established business with a proven track record of catering to the demographic that you would expect to use the park, library and senior citizen’s centre.”

Mr Stewart said the business did not want to join other small businesses that were closing or relocating because of the expected disruption around the Bayswater train station upgrade.

Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish commended Howdy Coffee’s idea but said council should advertise the vacant site instead of doing a “side deal”.

Councillor Catherine Ehrhardt, whose foreshadowed motion to approve the lease was rejected, said she preferred to negotiate with Howdy Coffee as soon as possible because no one else approached the City for the same site.