Tide changes at city beach kiosks

LONG-SERVING beach kiosk operators at Nobbys and Merewether will serve their final ice creams this month, after losing a Newcastle City Council tender.

Both kiosks will be closed for a chunk of the September school holidays as the outgoing operators clean out the coffee machines and chip fryers.

The Nobbys kiosk has been run by the Bell family for three generations.

They have posted a note to beachgoers and customers thanking them for the decades of support.

Swell operator Mark Prince will leave the Merewether cafe he has run for more than 10 years.

Mr Prince will retain the kiosk at Bar Beach, but the council has awarded the Merewether kiosk to Alepohori Pty Ltd, the operator of Newcastle's Juicy Beans cafes at Wheeler Place and Honeysuckle.

Swell will take over at Nobbys.

Mr Prince said he was sad to leave Merewether and would miss the many loyal customers, but was excited about the opportunity at Nobbys.

"Nobbys is where everyone is drawn to when they drive into town," he said.

The Bathers Cafe at Newcastle Baths will expand its operation to Newcastle beach after Hudson Caterers was awarded the tender for both kiosks.

The former operators at Newcastle beach did not apply for the tender.

Mr Prince said the certainty provided by the new leases would allow operators to invest and make improvements.

The council confirmed that changeovers would affect trading during the September school holidays.

Merewether and Nobbys kiosks will be closed for three days from Monday, September 24, during the first week of holidays, to allow the tenants to vacate.

The closure time "could be extended depending on the extent of the fit-out required by the new operator", the council said.

The council said the tender process was rigorous and assessed by an independent panel.

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