‘Village of the Damned’ claims another victim
A suburban 'village' that has become the 'Village of the Damned' for eateries has claimed another victim and the latest reason is a recurring theme among fallen shop owners.
Nundah retail strip, known locally as the Village and stretches almost 300m along Sandgate Rd, from Wood St to Buckland Rd, has become a graveyard for restaurants and cafes.
The latest casualty is the decade-old Broz Kebabs which shuts its doors last week.
Other businesses to close in the past six months include Be Bold cafe, the hugely popular Nundah Kitchen and The Coffee Club, which was one of a number of the franchises to close across Brisbane this year.
The owner of Broz Kebabs explained to their loyal customers, in a letter stuck to the front door, that they were forced to close last Friday because of 'high rent'.
"We are sad to announce that were unable to negotiate a better deal on our new lease and the high rent makes it very hard to survive in the market," the sign in the window read.
"It was a pleasure getting to know each and everyone one of you and we appreciate all your support over the years."
Broz Kebabs is located within Nundah Village shopping centre, on the corner Buckland and Sandgate roads, which should not be confused with 'The Village" which it forms part of.
The fast food outlet is the second eatery to shut at the shopping centre in as many months following the recent closure of Nundah Kitchen which has been taken over by a tobacconist.
Just last month, Bros Kebabs manager Sam Shinwari told The Courier-Mail that exorbitant rents were killing small businesses.
He said the premises of a former fish and chip shop have been vacant for some three years and that the landlords of Broz Kebabs wanted to increase their rent by $500 a month next year.
"Rent is very high and no one can afford it. They don't support local businesses," Mr Shinwari said.
"We are hard working here. They asked us for $500 a month increase for next year, but we asked for it to be reviewed."
He said high cost of delivery services was also why restaurants were struggling and barely covering their costs.
"They're taking 35 per cent just for delivering the food," he said.
"It's $10 for a kebab, so $6.50 is left (after the delivery charge) and it costs about $4 to make. It's hard to make money off $2 profit."
He said Nundah's increasing population, because of extensive development of the area, had not equated to a significant increase in sales.
"That's why they increased the rent because Nundah has grown but we didn't see much change at all," he said.
"The economy is down and people are not spending as much and the reality is that not more people are coming out to eat."
Broz Kebabs has been contacted for further comment.
Local Ray White real estate agent James Clark, who has sold properties across Nundah and round surrounding suburbs since 1994, said high rents and a lack of parking had been toxic.
He said while hundreds of units had sprung up in recent years, many of the apartments had just one carpark, leaving occupants scrambling to find all-day street parking.
"Parking is a massive issue. Even we have to shift our cars all the time and our frustration levels are at an all-time high," Mr Clark recently told The Courier-Mail.
"If you look at previous council regulations and the number of cars developers were required to provide for each unit, I was 0.8 cars per unit and that was just crazy.
"If you can't get a car park then you can't stop to have a coffee or a bite to eat to support local business."