City of Newcastle set to breathe new life into Lambton Park cafe

23 Feb 2024

City of Newcastle (CN) is preparing to revamp a former café site at one of the city's most popular parks as it seeks expressions of interest from potential new operators.

The Lambton Park building, which was constructed in the 1940s as a baby health centre, will undergo renovations as part of a development application set to be lodged within coming months.

An artist's impression of the renovated cafe in Lambton Park.

Subject to approval, the project would see the building modernised into an open plan cafe complete with bi-fold doors onto a new rear deck extension, which will provide accessible ramp access for parents with prams and people with mobility issues.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the café redevelopment would continue CN's ongoing investment in the Lambton Park precinct.

"City of Newcastle is committed to creating enriched neighbourhoods with accessible spaces that nurture connected, inclusive communities," Cr Nelmes said. 

"The café redevelopment follows on from significant upgrades at the Lambton Park War Memorial Swimming Centre, and the extensive renovation of Lambton Library, which delivered modern and accessible facilities while also returning the building's original heritage character to the front façade. 

"We are continuing to deliver enhanced community spaces and invest in a range of projects to ensure our community has continued opportunities for active living and social connection."

An artist's impression of the renovated cafe at Lambton Park, including the proposed rear deck extension and access ramp.

Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz said the proposed upgrade would improve the facilities on offer in the popular recreation precinct.

"Lambton Park is a much-loved destination that plays an important role in meeting the recreational and social needs of our local residents," Cr Winney-Baartz said.

"This café is ideally located next to the children's playground, with the new rear deck allowing parents to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while watching their children play on the equipment. Its proximity to the refurbished Lambton Library and nearby tennis courts ensure it will be a valuable addition to what is already on offer in the park precinct.

"This will be the first major adaptive reuse of this historic building since it's construction more than 80 years ago and I look forward to seeing it well utilised by the community for years to come."

An expression of interest process, managed by Colliers on behalf of CN, will begin next week to find a suitable operator to lease the café, pending the approval and completion of renovations.