News

This Is What The Future Of Melbourne’s Cafe Culture Will Look Like

That status quo is getting a lot of adjustments since coronavirus hit, with a new type of normal looking to become our future. Summer in Melbourne is going to be just one of those things looking a little different.

The hospitality industry has been one of the most impacted by COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns, particularly in Melbourne since their second wave. Yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced a $290 million package to help the hospo and entertainment industries get back on their feet, but things won’t quite be going back to what they were.

In a nutshell, everything will be moving outside.

Image: TimeOut via Victorian Government

“We’re the cultural and dining capital of our nation. That means, when it comes to reimagining what eating and entertainment means under COVID Normal, there’s no one better equipped than Melbourne and Victoria,” said Andrews.

Changes being made in other cities around the world were mentioned as comparisons, such as the New York initiative to open sidewalk and curb lane seating for restaurants.

Melbourne City Council is currently in talks to waive outdoor dining permit fees to help restaurants move to an al fresco plan quickly once restrictions ease.

Frankly, it sounds quite cool, and peak Melbourne. Imagine doing away with cars and pedestrians and instead using those spaces to sit and eat? As someone who lives for a good rooftop (and Melbourne’s ridiculously good restaurant scene), I’m fully into this.

Image: TimeOut via Victorian Government

“The lockdown has taken a financial and emotional toll on our community,” Lord mayor Sally Capp told The Age. “Businesses are working hard to do the right thing and it’s crucial we work together to provide some certainty and clarity for the future.”

Until things open back up again, don’t forget you can order delivery from a lot of your favourite places, not to mention getting new plant babies and random housewares to your door — for all those home projects you started out of boredom.

(Lead Image: Unsplash / Linda Xu)