Robert Wright can’t wait for the day when he can reopen Eeny Meeny Café. The co-owner of the popular Frankston eatery has been in business for eight years and has “a connected and committed community of customers” who are “like part of our family. We’re looking forward to reconnecting with our loyal customers”.
Exactly when that will be is still uncertain, but it’ll be made easier now that Frankston City Council is eligible for up to $500,000 from the State Government’s $87.5 million outdoor eating and entertainment package to provide enhanced outdoor dining opportunities for cafés, restaurants, pubs and clubs.
Council CEO Phil Cantillon said the money would also help the council put in place streamlined permit, enforcement and monitoring processes. “To assist businesses to reopen, we are reviewing a number of options for outdoor dining to support our local hospitality industry as the Government moves to ease COVID-19 restrictions,” Mr Cantillon said. “We are committed to working with traders to help identify locations for enhanced outdoor dining options. Parks, footpaths, courtyards and public spaces are all potential places that are being considered to host outdoor events or dining.”
The council’s communities director, Dr Gillian Kay, said the Frankston hospitality sector had an annual turnover of more than $345 million and was vital to the city’s economy, with 655 businesses employing some 2862 people. “We are determined to do everything we can to support hospitality businesses to reactivate following the easing of Stage 4 restrictions on October 26,” Dr Kay said.
“Locals can’t wait to get back to their favourite eatery and neither can we. That’s why our officers are working with local businesses to ensure they have the ability to trade once the current restrictions are eased. We will be working with businesses to discuss the provision of additional outdoor space where practical.”
As part of its $6.434 million relief and recovery package, the council is also offering free carparking for the first two hours in its off-street carparks to encourage people back into the CBD.