Cafe lovers out of luck

Roasters and café owners have also had cost increases on nearly everything else that goes into...
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Tapanui is cafe-less and that is not good for its soul.

The lack of a central social hub in the small West Otago town is under the spotlight as the town comes to terms with having no flat whites and long blacks.

The West Otago Community Board heard from a former Clutha district councillor at a meeting yesterday, who said the town was missing having a cafe.

"I’m concerned there’s no ability to go for a cup of tea or a meal and I think the community board should use some of its influence to get something going," former councillor Peter McPherson said.

"You’ve been able to get a cup of tea in town since the Second World War and suddenly there’s just no place to go. Only the pub or [the West Otago] Town and Country Club have the horsepower but surely the licensing trust can get something going?"

Clutha district councillor John Herbert pointed out food and refreshments were available to take away from the town’s dairy and supermarket. But he acknowledged there were no cafes, tearooms or restaurants suitable for tour groups or community organisations to casually meet at.

"You’re right, [we] miss that social hub that creates a community fabric," Cr Herbert said,

"But we’ve been working our way through over 800 public submissions on the [long-term plan] and there’s quite a theme that we should be sticking to our knitting. All these things cost money."

Illy’s, the last cafe in Tapanui, closed its doors last year.

By Nick Brook