From left, Jessica Gunawan, Brett Wilson, Chris Ganter, and Richard, Kathryn and Jonah Carpenter from the Rockhampton Baptist Church enjoy their meals at the newly opened Chat Room Caf in Stanley Street Rockhampton which also helps those in need. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
From left, Jessica Gunawan, Brett Wilson, Chris Ganter, and Richard, Kathryn and Jonah Carpenter from the Rockhampton Baptist Church enjoy their meals at the newly opened Chat Room Caf in Stanley Street Rockhampton which also helps those in need. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Strelow announces closure of Chat Room Cafe

MARGARET Strelow's controversial Chat Room Cafe will close its doors for the last time at 2pm today. 

The cafe, which opened on the corner of Bolsover and Stanley sts in May last year, catered for the entire public; from those financially struggling to people looking for a healthier lunch option. 

Director of the business Strelow made the announcement on her Facebook page this morning, with many residents commenting with messages of disappointment and support. 

Mrs Strelow said the cafe's closure was due to slow business. 

"The cafe was never intended to run at a profit but there is a limit to our personal capacity to sustain the losses too," Mrs Strelow said. 

"We were at a decision point for a number of reasons and decided to act quickly to ensure we could pay our suppliers and staff without delay."

Cr Strelow said she was proud of what the cafe achieved in its time of operation.

"The cafe did a lot of good during the 18 months it was open and I sincerely thank the many loyal supporters and our regular customers," she said. 

"I would also like to thank our amazing staff and Managers Allan and Wes. And a huge thank you to Mike our Chef. 


"We are not sure what the future will bring - the story of the Chat Room Cafe may not be over but this chapter of it is done. For now the doors are closed.

"The predictions by my political opponents that there would be horror and mayhem on the streets because of our dignified service to the needy were proven wrong.

"The last reports I heard from the police where that crime in the area had actually reduced."

Mrs Strelow said the cafe was a 'socially sustainable enterprise, it paid bills and taxes, but profit was not its focus. 

"We served great food and good coffee to our paying customers so that we could serve free meals to those in need," she said. 

"The Chat Room Cafe is a Proprietary Limited Company and I am the sole Director.
"Socially sustainable enterprises use a regular business as a way of funding community needs."

Head down to the Chat Room Cafe before 2pm today to have your last cup of coffee, slice of cake and sandwich, and say goodbye to the staff. 



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