Tannum cafe closes: Loyal customer tells of 'ongoing issues'
AFTER serving hungry and thirsty Tannum Sands residents and visitors with cakes, big breakfasts and strong coffee for nine years, The Coffee Club at Tannum Central shopping centre will shut its doors for the last time on Sunday.
With tables and chairs sprawled across the entry point to Coles, the cafe provided shoppers with a cool space to sit back, relax and enjoy the food and drinks on offer.
And with rumours circulating about The Coffee Club not being able to reach an agreement on a new lease with Tannum Central owners Whistle Funds Management Company, the café joins a host of other small businesses in Gladstone to close.
Although smaller and perhaps more opportunistic businesses such as RC Hobby House in Gladstone have recently opened up, the market remains depressed as the region fights to work off the bottom after the end of the LNG boom.
Neither the franchisee of The Coffee Club nor The Coffee Club's central management would comment on the reason behind the sudden closure.
But cafe regular and friend of the owners, Clare Ubrihien, said there had been ongoing issues between The Coffee Club and Tannum Central management with regards to extra seating for Mother's Day, a wet-weather sail to protect customers and rent.
Mrs Ubrihien, who is a Coffee Club member and frequents the joint between three and four times a week, said she would miss her favourite café once it closed.
She had just polished off a meal and was sitting down at The Coffee Club with her friend Heather Hurtz when The Observer spoke to her.
"For the owners sake I'm very upset," Mrs Ubrihien said.
"It's extremely disappointing because they've worked their guts out." Mrs Ubrihien said she expected the empty shop space left by The Coffee Club would be filled "within a month" because of its good location and high foot traffic.
But Mrs Ubrihien's allegiance to The Coffee Club runs deep and she said if another café opened up in its place she would be unlikely to shop there and would instead take her business up the road to Blend Café.
"They've employed a lot of people over the years," she said.
"It's a brilliant business here and it's a great place to meet with friends. It's just upsetting."
As The Observer went to print Tannum Central had not provided a comment.