Cafes busy on a traditionally quiet weekend

June 12, 2018

Gay Gerrish and Wayne Chapple enjoyed a coffee yesterday at Brother Pablo.

By late afternoon yesterday Fryers St, Shepparton, was quiet as the holiday rush was over.

By Alex Linton

Customers overflowed onto Fryers St, Shepparton, yesterday waiting for orders as cafes scrambled to keep up with the last breakfast and lunch rush of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Coffee queues were long everywhere, as locals Wayne Chapple and Gay Gerrish discovered after checking a number of spots.

‘‘We had a fair bit of a wait, but it looked even worse up the road,’’ Mr Chapple said.

Cafes were lively during the day, but according to Fryers Food Store part-owner Tracey Marsden, the Queen’s Birthday weekend is usually one of the quietest on the calendar.

‘‘It’s a bit of a low season, we actually find that a lot of locals go away,’’ Ms Marsden said.

‘‘You end up going backwards in a day.’’

The Food Store was not open yesterday.

Streets were generally quiet, stores in Maude St Mall were closed and the mall was completely empty, with cafes providing the lone spark of activity.

Ms Marsden said while she would like to stay open for the community, the day off was a chance to recharge, with no more public holidays until the AFL grand final in September.

This was a sentiment Chamber of Commerce president Carl Hainsworth shared.

‘‘People should have the right to not work, spend it with family, celebrate the day,’’ Mr Hainsworth said.

Some of Shepparton’s holiday buzz was due to the Victorian Country Junior Soccer Championships which the city hosted across the weekend, bringing more than 1000 junior soccer players into town.

Mr Hainsworth said given such a major event some businesses might not want to take the long weekend off.

‘‘There are some businesses out there, especially in hospitality, that could take advantage,’’ he said.

Alex Linton is an RMIT journalism undergraduate completing an internship at The News.

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