DOORS ARE SHUT: The now-closed Ballina Hotel in River St.
DOORS ARE SHUT: The now-closed Ballina Hotel in River St. Graham Broadhead

Mystery behind the closure of these pubs and cafes

MYSTERY surrounds the future of former city centre businesses as they sit dormant in the streets with no signs of reopening.

This month marks one year since Lismore's Tommy's Tavern put 'for lease' signs in its windows and just one block away, signs for The Hub remain on what is an empty shell of the former Keen St bar and cafe.

Questions have also been raised about when (or if) The Ballina Hotel on River St will open again after its doors closed suddenly at least 12 months ago.

So, what does the future hold for these CBD buildings?

Tommy's Tavern

WHAT used to be a popular watering hole for visitors and locals alike has fallen by the wayside now plastered with 'for lease' signs on its Molesworth St entrance.

Tommy's Tavern promised to tap into the needs of Lismore's business circles and families as a vibrant and contemporary pub when it opened in 2009.

Changing store fronts in Lismore including Tommy's, shops along Molesworth Steet, Woodlark and Keen Street.
ABOVE: Tommy's in Lismore was tipped to be a vibrant hub when it opened in 2009. Marc Stapelberg

Since it closed its doors in January last year, North Coast Commercial Real Estate director Chris Harley has tried to find tenants to revive the once bustling nightlife venue.

Mr Harley said there has been interest in the property from a number of parties, the most recent of which was shown through the establishment last Friday.

He said one party has been conducting "extensive investigations” into the potential of the former tavern for at least six months.

While its Facebook page says its open for business, Tommy's won't be reopening for some time yet.

Cognito Cafe

NEW owners are expected to take over the former Cognito Cafe in the coming month, Mr Harley revealed.

He said a deal is expected to be reached after a number of offers have been made to snap up the promising piece of Goonellabah real estate at the Eastpoint Shopping Village.

INCOGNITO: Goonellabah's Café Cognito mysterious closed its doors several days ago.
INCOGNITO: Goonellabah's Café Cognito mysterious closed its doors several days ago. Alison Patersom

The cafe abruptly closed in October with a hand-written note tacked to the glass doors that read: "Due to personal issues cafe will be closed today. Sorry”.

Despite assurances from owner Darren Currie, the store never served coffees again and his company Tuncurri Investments Pty Ltd is to be dissolved.

The Hub Lounge Bar and Cafe

MAJOR problems with the building is what lead to the closure of The Hub Lounge Bar and Cafe more than a year ago, according to mother and son owners, Jenni Maynard and Nathan Falk.

On a post on their Facebook page in September 2016, the pair told their "lovely patrons” it would be shutting down with aspirations to reopen soon at another location.

Changing store fronts in Lismore including Tommy's, shops along Molesworth Steet, Woodlark and Keen Street.
Changing store fronts in Lismore including Tommy's, shops along Molesworth Steet, Woodlark and Keen Street. Marc Stapelberg

In a short-lived business operation, The Hub opened in April 2016 after 3rd Eye Productions bought the location from Jack's Bar.

Fast-forward to January 2018, the building is listed for sale with Higgins Real Estate Lismore.

Director Patrick Higgins took on the property's portfolio this month after the departure of one of their real estate agents.

He said there have been two inquiries made about the property since the beginning of the month.

The Ballina Hotel

IT'S unknown whether or not The Ballina Hotel will ever reopen after the venue closed more than 12 months ago.

The River St pub's last gig listed on its website dates back to June 2016.

In 2013, then-owners Peter Nugent and Nerissa McConville aimed to boost the hotel's reputation after the previous owners suddenly shut the business in 2010 with no warning to staff or the community.

The current owners of the hotel are missing in action as the pub languishes on the main street.

Century 21 O'Mara & Savage Real Estate, Ballina said they have had no indication from the landlord as to whether the venue would reopen.

The landlord was contacted for comment by The Northern Star.

In January 2003, the historic hotel was hot property when it sold for $2.4 million according to Corelogic data.