Lismore lounges in Dusty Attic
KATE Stroud admits there were "definitely moments” last year when she and her business partner questioned "what they were doing” in trying to push ahead plans to open the Dusty Attic in Lismore.
They had been in the preparation phases of their fit out when the flood waters reached five and half metres into the space in 2017. Tools, music equipment and collected furnishings had all been put on the second floor mezzanine but it wasn't high enough. The soon-to-be cafe & music bar was not yet a functioning business, so they were not eligible for any government assistance.
A period of "chasing their tails” followed with the DA process in council before they ran out of money to continue.
"But I just believed so wholeheartedly in this project and knew it would get us through the troublesome times,” said Ms Stroud.
And it is this faith that has seen her open the doors over the past week to what people are now calling "Lismore's Lounge”.
Over the past year, Kate said people would ask her "sometimes eight times a day: when are you opening”, so it's with "real gratitude” the establishment at 147 Woodlark St has everyone talking.
After an evening gathered with friends in the eaves of the building, one of Kate's friends threw a book on the table, displacing a cloud of dust and the name of the venue was born.
Little did she know it would be another two and half years in the planning before their concept - 'to support the rich local community of musicians we have here” - was opened.
"We are really stoked to be able to create a space where people can collect, put their feet up, meet and celebrate our beautiful city. We wanted to provide good food made from fresh produce and live music - all things that are important to us in Lismore.”
Kate said she had been given assurances the premises would be getting its liquor licence in the coming weeks and they have already got approval to get their curbside dining up and running.
Nimbin chef, Sam Wise, has designed the Dusty Attic menu to adapt to what local produce can be sourced from week to week.
Kate first came to Lismore from Perth to study contemporary music at Southern Cross University in 2013. She soon became well known in the region for staging music events, house parties and festivals. She loves Lismore for its rural surroundings but "city vibe”.
"It can be dismissable at first but it's got a gritty undertone and if you dig a bit deeper you soon discover it's a gem.”