La Croix has closed, blaming the City of Sydney's ''unreasonably restrictive conditions''. The cafe lasted two years.
Co-owner Annie Wilkes has a shopping list of complaints, including a demand to put in another two toilets when La Croix applied for additional outside tables. Outdoor seating and its policing has become a particularly vexed issue for restaurant and cafe operators at Potts Point in recent years.
''When a resident complained about the potential for noise from the tables, we were told to get a noise pollution report, which was going to cost $18,000 to $25,000. We had some really lovely decorative words like 'Paris' and 'chandelier' put on the windows and were told it was graffiti and to remove it. In the end, we just had to close the doors,'' Wilkes says.
''The cafe was operating under consent granted by the NSW Land and Environment Court, after the owners appealed conditions imposed by council,'' a City of Sydney spokesman says. Council argues La Croix sought to increase its seating area and extend trading hours.
''In the recent appeal, the court relaxed some of the conditions by consent. The operator accepted the conditions, which required a revised plan of management and additional bathrooms. [They] chose not to proceed,'' the spokesman adds.