It’s hard to believe you’re just two weeks away from the Chatham Bar and Grill being the next to close in New South Wales.
But this year, it will be the last.
The NSW Government announced in March it would be closing its iconic venue in the city’s east after it had been open for a year.
The venue is now a food court at the Bar Harbor Hotel and will be redeveloped into a boutique hotel.
The Chatham bar is the only remaining bar in the Chastelands and is the first to be closed in the state.
The owner of the venue, Tom Macfarlane, has vowed to make it work again and hopes to open a new bar on the premises in time for Christmas.
But the closure of the Chatham Bar and grill is an enormous loss for the town and its residents, the Chattanooga Hotel Association (CHA) said.
The CHA is hoping for a closure of at least one other bar in NSW and a return of its annual barbecue. “
It’s a very sad day for the community, particularly in the north-east, as we’re a community that has been through a lot in the past few years,” CHA executive director and chairman Steve Taylor said.
The CHA is hoping for a closure of at least one other bar in NSW and a return of its annual barbecue.
Mr Taylor said it was difficult to understand why the Government would close a venue of the size and scale of Chatham that was the only bar in town.
“There’s only one Chatham and that’s it.
That’s where we get all our food,” he said.
He said it would also be difficult to justify the cost of a new cafe to cater for the event.
“What’s the reason why we need a cafe?
That’s the question,” he asked.
He also expressed concern about the closure and what it would mean for the local food scene.
“I’m just concerned about our local food and we don’t want to have to take it away from other places,” he told 7.30.
He pointed to the establishment of Chattles restaurant, which has been open since 2013.
“The community is already going to lose some of their favourite restaurants,” Mr Taylor told 7:30.
“But if you take away the Chachts, it’s going to be a big hit on the local scene.”
The Chachters had an annual barbecue on Friday night and Saturday night.
“We’re hoping that it’s just another event for the Chacha, but I think it’s also a good opportunity to create a good community for local businesses,” Mr Macfadyll said.
A community gathering for local people Mr Taylor has a history with Chatham.
He has been involved in community events in the area since the 1960s.
The bar was named after his uncle, the late Ernest Macfamyll, who was an advocate for Aboriginal rights and was an ardent supporter of the NSW Aboriginal community.
“My grandfather was a huge supporter of Chachamans.
He always used to say if there was a Chach and Chach, there was Chacha,” Mr Taylors uncle said.
Mr Macmellll died in 2017.