Twelve of the ‘skiplets’ will be located in parking spaces in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale - including busy Hesse Street and Point Lonsdale Road retail precincts - for the next three months.
The modified skip bins, produced in Jan Juc, are fitted out with recycled timber flooring and benches and provide additional seating for 10 patrons.
“Some businesses have done well during COVID and some haven’t, and we don’t know what the next three months will bring when the Jobkeeper program ends and people leave after the summer holidays” said Mayor Ross Ebbels.
“We want to make sure businesses are sustainable and can get through the next few months, and these skiplets can help with that. A lot of them are playing catch up now and we need them to be really busy this summer period.
“There’ll be some people who say they want their car parks back and there will be some who really like the skiplets,... I just ask everyone to show some patience.
"We might find that after three months, a bit like Geelong where they were trailed for five months five years ago, that not only traders but customers also want them to stay,” he said.
The Borough of Queenscliffe has fast-tracked the initiative after receiving $250,000 to progress outdoor dining, under a State Government initiative aimed at assisting businesses hard hit by COVID-19.
The first of the skiplets was installed outside the Queenscliff General Store.
“It has some sort of novelty value I think and is going to be a really fun little space and something bit different for people,” said business owner Garreth Jones.
The cafe managed to trade through the pandemic, despite being forced to remove tables and chairs.
“It was a bit scary there for a little while, it was unchartered waters.
“I have to say you’re only as good as your customers and ours were really supportive,” Mr Jones said.