Lavenders Riverside Cafe not protected from heat without tree

DISAPPOINTED: Lavenders Riverside Cafe owner Stephanie Purdon in the courtyard. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

DISAPPOINTED: Lavenders Riverside Cafe owner Stephanie Purdon in the courtyard. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TWO months after the removal of Lavenders Riverside Cafe’s historic tree, the cost of its absence is starting to show.

The week they feared was coming – a string of 40-degree days – arrived and the business suffered without any shade for their customers.

In fact the heat became such an issue that on Sunday the cafe closed its doors early with no-one wanting to battle the sun’s rays.

Previously protected by the Camphor Laurel’s branches, customers now have little choice but to meet the sun’s glare.

While she isn’t surprised, cafe owner Stephanie Purdon said her revenue has dropped by 30 per cent since the plant left.

“We’ve lost a lot of customers because of the heat,” Mrs Purdon acknowledged, adding the team was yet to find a sufficient shade alternative. “Hopefully I’ll get something out there to stop it being so hot. It’s just the coolness we’ve lost. 

“The tree is gone now, and there’s nothing I can do,” she said.

“It’s probably going to take six to 12 months to rectify what’s been ripped out.”