Published on March 31st, 2015 | by Gemma Jamison1
Three Chimneys business in financial trouble
Students at the University of Wollongong may have noticed the mysterious disappearance of the Little Chimneys coffee bar this semester. With rave reviews across campus from students and teachers alike, the Little Chimneys café has been sorely missed.
However news has surfaced of the financial fortunes of Little Chimneys’ parent venue Three Chimneys, explaining that the disappearance may have been related to a $500 000 accumulated debt.
The laneway café, bar, bakery, coffee roastery, and live music venue which opened in 2014 in the old Pasta Fina factory has given no indication of financial trouble recently, advertising new large scale art productions at the venue, and hosting multiple live music events. Local Wollongong council spokesperson Angela Perkovic heralded the arrival of new small bars like Three Chimneys as a way to re-activate empty CBD areas now that the young business crowd has started to filter into Wollongong.
It appears that the general success of small bars like His Boy Elroy, the Howling Wolf, Beach Burrito, and newly licenced Humber Bar in the Wollongong CBD has not been enough to keep Three Chimneys’ afloat. Former owner Brad Davies had previously cited not being able to take advantage of longer night-time opening hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, as a possible reason for this trouble, commenting that reduced hours were not good for business or patrons, as earlier closing times would provoke street violence and prevent Three Chimneys from raising much needed revenue.
Wollongong-based administrator Danny Vrkic from DV Recovery, was appointed to assess Three Chimneys’ debt issues by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) when the company went into external administration on March 20. The business was sold on March 13; it has been suggested this was to cover the $100 000 owed to the Australian Taxation Office, $280 000 owed to directors and shareholders, and the $150 000 owed to creditors.
Despite the debt, Three Chimneys will continue to trade as normal as business seems to be improving with the mounting emphasis on live music events and functions.