Collingwood Children’s Farm café may soon serve alcohol

The Abbotsford Convent is in the immediate vicinity of the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

Soon you might be able to get a drink around the Collingwood Children’s Farm – which is actually in Abbotsford.

The owners of The Farm Café, which serves customers from a café off the Main Yarra Trail, and also a kiosk accessed from the Collingwood Children’s Farm, are seeking permission from the City of Yarra council to serve alcohol.

Additionally, their application is seeking to extend trading hours in the morning and evening, and employ more staff.

The alcohol would only be served from the café.

“For [Collingwood Children’s] Farm visitors to sit in the café they must exit the farm and enter the café via the Yarra Trail,” the submission to council said.

“We do not propose serving alcohol to our customers who are accessing the kiosk on the Children’s Farm grounds.”

The venue is about 350 metres from the nearest house. The Sophia Mundi Steiner School is also in the vicinity, on the grounds of the Abbotsford convent.

The café operators say they have received verbal support to obtain a liquor licence from the Collingwood Children’s Farm manager, Conor Hickey.

“The Farm Café is a rustic relaxed venue operating seven days per week between 9am and 4pm (5pm on weekends) for breakfast and lunch, catering to people who come to enjoy the beautiful surrounds of the farm, the Abbotsford Convent and Yarra Trail environment,” the applicant said. “The café is very busy on weekends when the weather is fine.”

The request to offer “a limited selection of alcoholic drinks” is a means to increase its revenue, the operators said.

“It is commonplace now for cafés similar to ours to also offer alcohol with meals,” the application noted. “We have no intention of changing the relaxed family nature of our café.”

The café, which seats 68, sits on land at 16-24 St Heliers Street zoned Public Park and Recreation.

The application additionally seeks to revise the trading hours to allow it to open at 8am every morning to “enable us to sell coffee and breakfast to local workers and early risers before the work day commences”.

On Fridays and Saturdays during daylight savings hours, the café is seeking permission to trade until 8pm.

To coincide with extended hours, the applicant is seeking to double the number of staff it can employ during the week to 10. On weekends and public holidays, the café hopes to employ 17 people – six more than it can at present.

“The café trade is very seasonal and weather dependent. Two thirds of our trade is on weekends when we can be very busy with a waitlist for tables. Weekdays during school holidays and when the weather is fine can also be busy. The staffing numbers proposed are those required at peak times to meet demand,” the applicant said.

“The Farm Café has held a Limited Liquor Licence for many years to enable the service of alcohol at catered events mostly on the farm grounds and at other locations” it added.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of