Subsidised coffee leaves bitter taste 

Mike Ivanoff is fuming the state government is undercutting private businesses. Photo by David Bell.

A STATE government-funded cafe selling $3 coffees has been undercutting private enterprise, city cafe owners have complained.

The Crew & King Cafe is run by the Perth Theatre Trust and opened in May 2020 after state-funded upgrades to His Majesty’s Theatre.

Michael Ivanoff from nearby Crib Lane cafe says the Crew’s $3 coffees, available until 11am, are taking customers away from nearby cafes. 

“I see my customers going there, and I see them walking back with cup in hand,” ¬†Mr Ivanoff says. 

He says there’s no way private business can make a living selling $3 coffees. “We’re losing customers to these guys who are giving out cheap coffees with our taxpayer money.”

The sign for $3 coffees is still out. Photo Crew & King Facebook page.

He says it hurts on top of the loss of business during and after lockdown. “We got zero from the state government during the Covid period, that’s why it makes me even more mad that the state government is taking my business.”

The PTT say it’s ending the $3 coffee offer at the end of January. A statement from PTT GM Duncan Ord said they were “surprised” to learn neighbouring cafes “were uncomfortable with the price point of $3 for a small (8 oz) coffee – a price point which is only offered until 11am at which time it increases to $4”.

He says the pricing is the same as when the place closed in 2019 for the Maj refurbishment, and “it was always the intention that pricing would be reviewed following a period of normal operations”.

“We have now met with the owner of Crib Lane to discuss his concerns and we will be removing the special offer at the end of January.”

by DAVID BELL

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