Discover Hunter Street’s NDIS supported eatery
One venue on Hunter St has seen many a business come through its doors. From the long-awaited arrival of The Flying Tiger to the revamped Piazza Mercato; newest tenant, CIMs On Hunter is bringing their own unique approach with the hope to make this building stand the test of time.
CIMs On Hunter, is an offshoot of local disability support service, CIM Support, with the aim to help their clients transition into the hospitality workforce. Only starting two years ago, CIM Support has grown rapidly, and owner, Chris Skurrie, saw the unique need to help transition those in the disability sector into meaningful workplace positions through CIM Hospitality.
“CIMs stands for Compassion, Inclusive, and Meaningful Support. CIM Support is a disability support service. We support people with a disability in the community and their homes.
“One of the other reasons for starting in the hospitality side, is that we wanted to support our clients with housing, and to do that, comes the need for work and to earn a living,” Skurrie shared.
Originally launched with their first hospitality offering in One Mile, the CIMs Cafes have now grown to four different venues over a period of only six months: CIMs One Mile, CIMS Boolaroo, CIMS at the Coliseum, and CIMS on Hunter, with venue number five currently in negotiations.
With Chris Skurrie at the helm, he enlisted the help of a long-time friend, Chris Russell to move into the hospitality realm.
“I said to Chris, we needed to offer something that would give them a bit of a purpose. We wanted them to also learn and develop their skills as well. We now have over 50 employees within the disability sector across all of the venues which is awesome. That’s over 50 people that were never given an opportunity like this before,” Russell shared.
Getting a hold of the Hunter Street venue late last year, the duo had big plans to make it an inclusive environment and a go-to food and drink hotspot with live music, DJs, and events featuring each and every weekend.
However, license restrictions have seen the venue re-evaluate its business model pushing the CIMs on Hunter team to operate the venue purely as a café by day, and restaurant by night.
For those stepping into the venue, you’ll notice not too much has changed interior-wise, so that signature exposed brick look with accents of red and pastels throughout have remained.
Operating for breakfast, brunch, and lunch seven days a week, and moving into dinners from Thursday through til Sunday; CIMs on Hunter invites passers-by to drop in for a tasty meal; made with love by their Nepalese Chefs and served by their CIM Support members.
“On a positive note – we have two new chefs, and they’re both from Nepal. We have a typical pub-style menu, but we’ve also got a selection of Nepalese dishes. There aren’t too many places around Newcastle that offer Nepalese cuisine so we’re really excited to have them in the kitchen,” Skurrie said.
“We want to be able to get to what we can do here. If we can’t, that puts a bit of a downer on our plans for the building. If we can get a general bar license, we could get more people in here.”
“Our aim for this venue is to always be an inclusive space for those with disabilities to interact with everyday people and feel safe.”
Next time you’re on the lookout for a space to try, why not give CIMs On Hunter a test? Whether you’re dropping by for a coffee on the go before a day in the office, looking for a tasty brunch spot, or maybe stepping out of your usual dining routine, head on over to CIMs On Hunter.