3 August 2023

Lake pop-up cafe proposed near Blundells Cottage

| Ian Bushnell
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An artist's impression of the proposed pop-up cafe near Blundells Cottage.

An artist’s impression of the proposed pop-up cafe near Blundells Cottage. Image: Eric Martin and Associates.

A pop-up cafe by Lake Burley Griffin near Blundells Cottage could be on the menu for visitors, walkers, runners and cyclists.

Chillilala Pty Ltd, whose director is Arina Poulakis, has lodged a works application with the National Capital Authority (NCA) for the prefabricated cafe which will be erected on the hardstand of the former carpark adjacent to Blundells Cottage on Wendouree Drive.

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The structure will be about the size of a shipping container

The NCA, which has a policy of supporting appropriate activity by the lake, chose the site.

In recent years, it has been encouraging more commercial activity on and around the lake, including the Black Mountain water park; the redevelopment of the Canberra and Region Visitors’ Centre at Regatta Point; Commonwealth Place venues; the proposed West Basin development; and seaplane services.

The cafe, which will serve coffee and food, will be located between two trees at the end of the existing parking area, and should be able to capture passing trade on the nearby shared path and from Blundells Cottage.

It will initially be in place for three years, with the potential for a further two years.

An aerial view of the proposed pop-up cafe near Blundells Cottage.

An aerial view of the area and location of the proposed cafe. Photo: NCA.

The application states it will be discrete and blend into the landscape, with the design having a suitable aesthetic quality for the area and fitting with the heritage status of Blundells Cottage.

It will take about eight weeks to install once the works approval is granted and can quickly be removed with minimal impacts if necessary.

Electricity and water can be connected from nearby underground services, while liquid waste will be stored within the cafe and emptied daily off site.

Mobile rubbish bins will be emptied daily in peak periods and as needed on other days.

The Heritage Report from Eric Martin and Associates states the proposed cafe will have no adverse impact, being a sufficient distance from Blundells Cottage.

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But the cafe will conceal the interpretive tracks sign behind the site, which should be moved to the west adjacent the other car parking spaces.

The report states the cafe will add another element to the lake edge, benefit lake users, and only slightly affect the ‘quiet and still’.

Feedback is open until 5 pm, Friday 11 August, and submissions can be emailed to WAconsultation@nca.gov.au

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Great idea! Will be welcomed assuming it is well promoted and easily accessible for eastside walkers. Is this the best location for such an enterprise? I’ve always wondered why there’s nothing near the Carillion to sustain people.

Sorry, but Windouree Drive from Blundells Cottage to the Carillion has been turned into a cyclist only raceway – no cars, no pedestrians, no prams, no runners, no dog-walkers, only cyclists allowed and any one who violates this rule can expect harsh verbal warnings and deliberate close encounters at high speed.

There needs to be a separation between bikes and walkers, for the safety of all.

brucewantstobecool3:47 pm 06 Aug 23

I was wondering what the cardigan brigade (aka lake guardians) might think about this, but their website and socials have been quiet for quite some time… A good thing, I think!

I am in favour of more development (if done well) around the central basin, but maybe the NCA could start be turning on all the lights? Thank you.

Felix the Cat3:01 pm 06 Aug 23

There is already a coffee van down near the Carillion – about 100 metres away

@Felix the Cat
Yes there is a coffee van near the Carillion – good luck getting a coffee there.

It’s opening hours are not displayed and I’ve been there mid-morning of a week day and it hasn’t been open. So if the pop-up is going to be more reliable then I say go for it.

Oh remember when NCA said brodogs “wasn’t in keeping with the lakes vision” then let act govt build the failed shipping container village… seems they change their mind more often than their jocks

devils_advocate11:55 am 07 Aug 23

The NCA campaign against Brodburger was driven by Manuka/Kingston businesses being unhappy with the competition; and the ACT government being upset about the $1/day hawkers license they were operating on

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