“Since reopening in October 2020, it’s been very very hard,” Di explained in the post, citing the loss of tourists, international students and office workers as being simply too huge a blow for the business. Di labelled lockdown 3.0 as “the last straw”, comparing that day’s takings with those of a regular Monday. According to the owner, the difference was a whopping $10,000, with the cafe pulling just $391 yesterday.
Melbourne’s current circuit breaker lockdown might only be scheduled to last for five days, but even so it has proved the final nail in the coffin for one CBD cafe. Long-running laneway haunt Hardware Societe has called last drinks after more than 11 years, with Di Keser, who co-owns the cafe with her husband Will, announcing the cafe’s indefinite closure via Instagram yesterday, Monday, February 15.
The duo has assured fans the Katherine Place outpost, which opened in 2019, will continue to operate, though the closure of the OG cafe serves as a stark reminder of just how tough COVID-19 has been for Melbourne’s food and drink industry. “I am sure many other hospitality businesses are suffering the same fate and are just too embarrassed to put it out there,” the post continued. “I urge you to support all local hospitality businesses and avoid using delivery platforms.”
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