Benson's Cafe and Bakery flagged for Redan's Atlantic Hotel site

Croissants in the car: The Atlantic Hotel on Skipton Street as it currently sits, with the proposed bakery's logo as supplied in City of Ballarat's planning documents. Picture: Google Maps
Croissants in the car: The Atlantic Hotel on Skipton Street as it currently sits, with the proposed bakery's logo as supplied in City of Ballarat's planning documents. Picture: Google Maps

A new drive-thru bakery could replace a prominent Redan pub after a planning application was lodged with the City of Ballarat. 

The former Atlantic Hotel on the corner of Skipton and Bell streets has be flagged as the potential home for Benson’s Bakery and Cafe. 

The application lodged by iPlanning Services Pty Ltd for 630 Skipton Street, Redan proposes to establish a food premises and onsite bakery, as well as children’s play room.

The cafe is proposed to be 288 metres square, located in hotel’s existing rooms, while the former BottleMart drive-thru bottle shop utilised for bakery sales. 

Drive-thru access will be provided from Bell Street, and flow out onto Skipton Street.

Central ward councillor Mark Harris said while the proposal might make some “nostalgic about older times” and highlights Ballarat’s changing social landscape, the application will be assessed based its suitability for the area.  

“There’s a change in city lifestyles and perhaps a death of pubs from that time, so it does speak to that,” he said. “You’re always looking for the highest utility when you see changes, you want them to be the best style for the area … that they’re improving an area and pragmatic.” 

The Courier contacted the developer iPlanning Services Pty Ltd in relation to the proposed bakery, but they declined to comment. 

The Atlantic Hotel closed in 2015, with other Skipton Street outfit the Globe Hotel also folding in the same year. The nearby Royal Mail Hotel in Sebastopol closed on July 2 this year.

According to the application, the proposed operator of the cafe is a qualified pastry chef, with the current kitchen on the site to be used for production of non-wholesale baked goods. 

The proposal also states there will be no impact on the amenity of the area, as the building has always been used for a hotel, and the “proposed cafe will potentially be less detrimental to the area with operating hours during normal daylight hours”. 

If approved, some of the signage will be removed, including the moon-shaped Carlton Draught sign on the roof, while illuminated verandah signs will remain.