Lindt Cafe opened their doors once again to the public on Friday, 20th March, 3 months after the tragical terrorist attack where gunman Man Haron Monis held 18 hostages in the cafe.
Customers poured in inspite of long queues and their busy schedules. The atmosphere was powerful as many took time off work, families and universities to buy a cup of coffee or condiments to extend their support.
The cafe was working in full swing with the staff looking stronger and more organised as the day progressed. There wasn’t any sign of weakness.
28 year old Hilary Zhao, an Event Manager at ABC media was seen extending her support to Lindt Cafe. Though she isn’t a regular customer she said, “I have been here a couple of times but because I work in Town Hall its too far for me to come. I came here specifically today because it had reopened. Wanted to support Lindt café post siege.”
Remembering the deadly siege that terrorised Sydney she said, “I was at work, unlike a lot of the CBD I was not sent home because I work in media and it was such a groundbreaking topic to write about.”
After getting a cup of coffee Zhao adds, “There was a strong feeling of support from the customers, a lot of well wishing. The employees seemed more powerful yet calm and relaxed. The café itself felt very organised, as they have employed security outside the door. It is now definitely a tourist attraction as it is overcrowded with queues outside lining up to get in, even if its just for take away coffee.”
On the fateful day of 15th December 2014, when Man Haron Monis took the lives of Lindt Cafe Manager Tori Johnson and Barrister Katrina Dawson, Sydney was deeply saddened. Thousands of people poured in the days following to pay tribute to the lives lost.
ABC reported that Katrina Dawson’s husband Paul Smith welcomed the news of reopening and said, “Although it will be difficult at first, we hope to be able in time to return to the Lindt cafe so that [Katrina’s] children can continue to experience one of [her] great joys,”
Plaques in the memory of Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson are inserted in the cafe and it was unveiled inside the main entrance on the day of reopening. The cafe has strengthened the security by having security guards outside the entrance.
Premier Mike Baird was seen fiercely supporting the cafe. In his speech in Martin Place he said,
“Actions that came to cause hate and division actually caused peace and unity. The city was tested, it was challenged, but today is a strong reminder that we march forward and that we are very proud of our city, proud of our values, proud of our forces, proud of everything about this city and state.”
Putting the terrifying attack behind Lindt Cafe continues to welcome customers with a smile. The reopening made an emotional and powerful statement by bringing people together to stand by them as they made a new start.