19 August 2022

Popular portable dining pods help punters enjoy Batemans waterfront

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Seating pod

Alina enjoys a morning coffee in one of the seating pods installed on the Clyde River foreshore in Batemans Bay. Photo: ESC.

What can beat sharing a meal or a cuppa next to the water under an open sky?

Many in Batemans Bay must agree, because the portable dining pods that have been placed on the town’s foreshore have proved to be so popular that Eurobodalla Shire Council will move one to Narooma so locals there can also share in the outdoor dining experience they present.

A pair of the portable wooden table and chairs, complete with trellised roof, were first installed on the town’s waterfront in 2021 as part of a trial by council to help enliven the area.

As they attracted an overwhelming positive response, council acquired additional pods earlier this year.

Council’s manager of economic development Teresa Lever said the Bay’s seating pods had been placed to determine the appetite and style of more permanent seating in the future.

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“Right now we have six along the Bay foreshore,” she said.

“Three in the park immediately adjacent to the carpark footpath, two between Innes Boatshed and Starfish Deli and one next to the Clyde Street bus shelter.”

Ms Lever said the three pods in the park would remain there for now and more resilient turf that was better able to tolerate climatic conditions was also being laid.

The two pods near the Boatshed will remain until the area is redeveloped as Waterfront Square.

The square is being envisaged in the Batemans Bay Waterfront Masterplan and council’s engineering and landscape design for it is underway.

“When work begins, we will relocate the temporary pods to another town or village to make way for permanent seating in a similar style,” Ms Lever said.

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She said the pod by the bus shelter would soon be relocated to Narooma and be placed next to the old visitor centre carpark.

“That’s the beauty of these pods – their portability means we can test different locations to find the ideal spot before investing in permanent structures,” she said.

Council acquired the pods through funding from the NSW Government’s Streets as Shared Spaces program.

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