The owner of a heritage-listed restaurant overlooking the Rose Gardens of Old Parliament House believes his business will close due to a long-running stoush with the National Capital Authority.
Bruce Gibbs, who purchased the Lobby Restaurant more than a decade ago, said he was frustrated by parking restrictions and two years of bureaucratic arguments with the authority.
The Lobby Restaurant was launched almost 50 years ago after politicians pushed for local dining options. It has changed considerably since then. Rather than serving politicians or staffers, it's now a function destination.
"I know that what we do is not everyone's cup of tea but I have had to make changes to the restaurant because the top end of the market has died and I had to stay competitive," Mr Gibbs said.
"This is one of the oldest restaurants in Canberra with a political history and nostalgia. Thousands of people have been married here over the years."
Mr Gibbs has been told his lease will not be renewed beyond 2018 with the NCA set to determine the future use of the building and its condition.
"I want this history to be continued and it's a damn shame the Lobby is being killed off because of a two-year disagreement," he said.
An NCA spokeswoman said the authority had supported the business for many years, including expensive investments in external weather blinds.
Mr Gibbs, who also runs the acclaimed Cuppacumbalong egg farm near Tharwa, oversees a bakery on-site and sells his produce at market stalls on the weekend.
The NCA believe the bakery is a breach of his licence, although the spokeswoman said a blind eye had been turned in recent years.
Mr Gibbs said parking restrictions had made it almost impossible for him to sustain his baking as he risked fines without a designated loading zone.
"I ride my push-bike down to work every day and drive my cars back to my house because I can't afford to pay $150 in parking each week for them," he said.
The NCA advised Mr Gibbs it would consider installing a loading zone although it would not be his alone or available all day.
In October, Mr Gibbs offered to leave his license if the NCA paid close to $300,000 for his business name and fittings.
"I own the Lobby Restaurant and its good will," he said. "That can't be passed on to anyone unless I sell it."
The offer was rejected, although the authority offered to waive an early exit fee should all shop fittings be removed.
"The NCA continues to work with Mr Gibbs in relation to the property management of his business," the spokeswoman said.
"As the landlord of the building, the NCA continues to undertake regular repairs and maintenance as well as other property investments to assist with his business operations."
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