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No takers for Broken Earth

Monday, 7th April, 2014

By Andrew Robertson

Get on the phone if you want to take over the Broken Earth Cafe.  

That’s the message from cafe owner and mayor Wincen Cuy to a fellow tour operator who said he finds the cafe’s closure “disturbing”.  

Milton Hawke, who operates City Sights Tours, said the city’s tourism industry can ill-afford to lose the cafe which was shut in January.

In a letter to the BDT, Mr Hawke suggested lofty food and beverage prices may have been the cafe’s undoing, and the answer could be to run it as a ‘no frills’ operation. 

“It’s a shame that we can’t seem to get someone in there as a caretaker seven days a week to sell drinks and basic tea and coffee and a few snacks,” he said.

“Most people don’t want to sit down to a meal during the day anyway.”

Yesterday Mayor Cuy, who still holds the cafe lease, all but ruled this idea out but said Mr Hawke was more than welcome to discuss the matter with him personally.

“If Milton wants to take it on he should ring me,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, the search for a new lessee to take over the cafe lease has so far proved fruitless, according to Mayor Cuy.

“We had a few enquiries but nobody has come back to us and we’re now just contemplating what we’ll do with it.” 

He said the cafe was still used twice a week when it catered to about 200 Indian Pacific travellers.  

“At this point we’re quite happy to maintain it. 

“We’re just waiting to see what pans out.”

In the meantime, he said tourists still had access to the Miners’ Memorial. 

“Yes, it’s disappointing that you can’t have a cup of coffee or buy a souvenir but at the end of the day that’s secondary to being able to visit the Miners’ Memorial.”

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