Crown St Mall cafe: 'We dropped to just $400 a day'

Mall businesses driven to the brink

Cafe owner Peter Perusco has lost so much money since the second stage of the mall upgrade began he decided he would be better off closing his lower Crown Street shop for the next seven months.

BJ’s on the Mall owner Peter Perusco. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

BJ’s on the Mall owner Peter Perusco. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

The young BJ's on the Mall operator said his daily takings had dropped 60 per cent since the hoardings went up on February 2.

"In November, December and January we were doing fantastic trade with more than $1000 a day in takings, but the moment that fence went up we dropped to just $400 a day," he said.

"And it's costing us $2000 a week to stay open, so there's no use being open while it's like this.

"We've got about six weeks' worth of coffee beans left, and then we'll close for a few months. If we don't sell the business during that time we will reopen."

Mr Perusco and his parents bought the cafe in April last year.

While the family is supportive of the mall refurbishment, Mr Perusco said that they were led to believe it would be less disruptive.

"I think they should be making the mall better, but they're just going about it completely horribly," he said.

"We obviously knew the construction was coming up, but we were assured there wouldn't be this much fencing and that it would be done differently, like there would be no work during the day or it would be done in small segments. But all that seems to have changed."


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