ALBURY’S River Deck Cafe could be operating year-round in an all-weather dining and function facility by Easter.
Plans have been lodged with Albury Council.
Lessee Alex Smit has submitted a development application to transform the cafe into an all-weather dining and function centre.
It comes after receiving a $250,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Regional Visitor Economy Fund to put towards the cafe’s development.
“It’s a big step in the right direction and we are excited,” Mr Smit said.
“We hope to get cracking as soon as possible.”
The extension plans will enable the cafe to cater for more than 120 diners at one sitting.
Mr Smit hopes the extension could be completed by as early as Easter.
He said the development application was a significant step towards realising a “fantastic opportunity to create what will become Albury’s most spectacular riverside destination”.
At present the cafe does not operate during the winter months.
It is expected to re-open towards the end of October.
Albury mayor Kevin Mack welcomed the move, which formed part of council’s river masterplan.
“We have a vision to invest in projects that will lift visitors to the river,” Cr Mack said.
“The cafe is pivotal in creating a major destination precinct, encompassing the Noreuil Park foreshore, Wonga Wetlands and the Wagirra Trail.”
Council will engage an independent third party consultant to assess the development application and make recommendations.
Cr Mack said this was an important step to ensure transparency and to protect the interests of both the council and the lessee.