Gallery cafe will open only by day

GEORGIE'S at Grafton Art Gallery will be replaced by a daytime cafe rather than a restaurant - even though this could mean less rent for council.

Reports emerged this week the restaurant was facing large hikes in rent.

Despite conflicting reports, Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson insisted all discussions had been amicable.

"These discussions have continued in a good-spirited nature and we are sure we'll be able to come to an outcome where all can be satisfied," Cr Williamson said.

He said there wasn't "extensive discussion" at council's meeting last night on the restaurant's decision to move and the general manager will now discuss with the operators the "early termination".

Council is calling for expressions of interest to operate the cafe, which will open from 10am-4pm on Tuesday to Sunday, with the option of opening earlier from 7.30am and of holding a function after hours for an additional fee.

This means the rent for the cafe will be lower than the existing rent, which is for a restaurant with longer operating hours.

Gallery director Jude McBean said while there would be some concern during the period it takes to find a new operator, the great marriage between the gallery and eatery should attract attention.

Expressions of interest for the cafe are available at council's website and are due by May 7.

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