Café and culture: Art Gallery of Ballarat director Louise Tegart said shopfront is ready for a new operator to hit the ground running. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Hopes coffee spot returns to Gallery

July 22, 2021 BY

WHAT’S your preferred way to enjoy a museum or gallery outing?

Many of those visiting, working for, or volunteering at the Art Gallery of Ballarat have historically taken advantage of the building’s Lydiard Street-facing café space, sitting down for a bite of lunch, a cake, and coffee.

But for the last year, since the city’s ‘cake queen’ Sara Kittelty vacated the shopfront, it’s been hospitality-free.

Gallery director Louise Tegart said the arts community, and local regular customers, have missed the venue dearly, so it’s time to bring some life, good food and caffeine back to the space.

“After multiple lockdowns, we’re now calling for a new café operator that’s ready to work closely with the Gallery in establishing a business that’s going to complement the experience,” she said.

“Visitors have an expectation of the whole gallery experience; looking at art, the shop, and having a coffee, so the café is integral to our offering.”

With an established commercial kitchen and equipment, the space is ready for an operator to put “their stamp” on it as soon as the tender application process concludes.

The successful business could attract 200,000 annual Gallery visitors, and cater for the organisation’s evening events.

“The cafe also has its core own audience of local people, like our 40 guides, but being in the centre of town within the heritage precinct, and near GovHub, it can establish its own identity outside the Gallery,” Ms Tegart said.

Applications for the three-year lease can be made to the City of Ballarat by Sunday, 15 August.