Central Otago cafe told it can only have 12 chairs inside

Long Lunch 31/10/2018
Coffee. Photo: Getty.

A Central Otago cafe says the council has told them to remove all but 12 chairs inside.

Central Otago District Council (CODC) staff found Rabbit Kitchen & Bar in Bannockburn, just outside of Cromwell, had almost three times the seating its consent permitted.

Owners Jimmy Fairweather and Katie Funnell bought the business a year ago, when it had about 70 seats inside and out.

But Mr Fairweather says they were not aware there was a 12 seat limit inside.

“Somewhere along the line it’s been overlooked. Once it come about we even spoke to the previous lady that had the café and she was unaware of it as well,” he told RadioLIVE.

Council staff visited the cafe just before Labour Weekend, Mr Fairweather said, resulting in most of the seating being removed for them to be allowed to continue operating.

He says the business is working with council to resolve the issue – but it’s a slow process.

“It is frustrating – sort of want the outcome to happen a bit quicker.

“I just want to be able to cook food […] we just want to have people in the door, happy and sitting down having their meal or coffee,” Mr Fairweather told RadioLIVE. 

Listen to the full interview with Jimmy Fairweather above.

The Long Lunch with Lynda Hallinan, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.