The former Lindt cafe in Sydney CBD, which was once the scene of one of the nation’s most shocking terrorist attacks, has reopened as an up-market cellar concept store from liquor giant Dan Murphys.
Two people were killed during a 16 hour stand-off in Sydney’s Martin Place in 2014 between police and lone gunman Man Haron Monis, who had stormed the cafe before taking hostages.
Seven years after the tragedy, chocolate giant Lindt closed down the cafe permanently before announcing its sale to Dan Murphy’s for use as a $2 million store aimed at wine enthusiasts.
The store, known as the The Dan Murphy’s Cellar, opened for the first time on Thursday despite objections from the public and NSW Police about use of the “sensitive area” as a liquor store.
Dan Murphy’s Managing Director Agi Pfeiffer-Smith told The Daily Telegraph talks had begun with the families of victims of the Lindt siege long before any work had commenced.
“We would have not proceeded without the approval of the victim’s families and have taken every step possible to respect those directly impacted by this sad event,” she said.
The new store features the original plaques commemorating the two people killed in the siege – Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson – which as been placed at the store entrance.
A “permanent floral tribute” bearing the names of the two victims was also designed in conjunction with the families, and will be placed on the central table where it will catch the sunlight.
Katrina Dawson’s brother Angus told The Daily Telegraph his family had been consulted on the plans for 53 Martin Pl before the opening, and were comfortable with the tribute.
“We have worked … on the development of a memorial in store, and we are comfortable with the final designs,” he said.
The up-market cellar will sell a range of top-shelf wines, with some fetching as much as $21,000 a bottle.