CLOSING DOWN: Rachel Nolan, owner of Cactus Espresso Bar.
CLOSING DOWN: Rachel Nolan, owner of Cactus Espresso Bar. David Nielsen

Trading in CBD 'too hard', popular Ipswich cafe closes

A POPULAR Ipswich cafe will close in another blow to the city's struggling central business district.

Cactus Espresso Bar, located in the Bostock Chambers building, held its last day of trading yesterday.

Owner Rachel Nolan, the former Member for Ipswich, had announced late last year her cafe was up for sale.

Last week she announced it would close, the ending of a dream.

"The demise of Cactus is, at least in our view, a real tragedy for Ipswich," she wrote.

"When Jim McKee and Diana Love started Cactus in May 2003, it began a wonderful transformation of the Top of Town and of the idea of what Ipswich could be.

"In the years after they opened this great contemporary cafe in the 1915 Bostock Chambers, a number of other creative people saw the potential of our architecture and our city and a whole precinct emerged."

Ms Nolan said after 15 years of business, trading conditions in the Ipswich CBD "have become too hard".

"Central Ipswich had a wonderful energy and sense of possibility but it has not survived the times that we are in," she said.

"Speaking as the owner of Cactus over the last nearly five years, I have loved Cactus very much. I love the first-rate coffee and the creative food we prepare, but mostly I love the community."

Cactus is the third businesses at the intersection of Ellenborough and Brisbane streets to announce it will close.

Since December, Birch Carroll Coyle cinemas and Getmutlich owners have announced they will close.

Ms Nolan said she would miss her Cactus community.

"Cactus is a genuine village, a place that you can walk to, where a diverse group of people come together in a common place and with a common, largely unspoken idea about what Ipswich could be and about what's important," she said.

"I would like to thank the wonderful customers who have been a part of Cactus."