2023 In Review – May: Popular eateries close; Harry Hartog arrives in Penrith

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As we continue our look back on 2023, here’s the stories that made headlines in May…

Penrith loses two long-established eateries, with The Blind Chef Café and Avli Restaurant both announcing their plans to close permanently.

Craig Shananan at his cafe, The Blind Chef. Photo: Melinda Jane.

The NRL issues an ongoing ban to a fan accused of racially vilifying South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell at a match in Penrith earlier in the year.

Labor pledges to return the Federal Budget to surplus, albeit temporarily, and addresses a range of cost-of-living issues as Treasurer Jim Chalmers declares a mixed economic road lays ahead.

The old Commonwealth Bank branch on High Street in Penrith is transformed into a stunning new bookshop, with Harry Hartog opening its doors.

Peri MacDonald and Stephanie Parkin from Harry Hartog. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Braddock Public School at Cranebrook announces a range of COVID-19 measures due to a surge in cases at the school.

A Berkshire Park man who threatened to decapitate his mother is given a community correction order.

A serial rapist is jailed for a maximum of 19 years and four months for sexually abusing three separate victims, but he could be released on parole in just 14-and-a-half years.

Parking concerns are raised as an issue surrounding a major expansion of the Westfield Penrith shopping complex that would change the skyline of the Penrith CBD forever. Scentre Group, Westfield’s parent company, proposes a 22-storey hotel, major commercial tower and new retail as part of the biggest ever upgrade to Penrith’s main shopping centre.

The new-look Westfield Penrith looking north-east.

Penrith Council dramatically and surprisingly pulls the pin on its prized Soper Place development.

Police investigate the death of a seven-week-old baby at St Marys.

Sydney FC down the Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 in the A-League Men’s Elimination Final.

Local driver Wally Kermond is admitted into the Australian Speedway Hall of Fame.

St Marys local Wally Kermond. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Brisbane Olympic officials visit Penrith Whitewater Stadium on a “recon mission” as they prepare for the 2032 Games.

The Panthers go through May undefeated, with wins over the Warriors, Roosters and Broncos.

2003 Premiership-winning coach John Lang returns to Penrith as part of a 20-year Grand Final reunion.

Former coach John Lang signs an autograph at the 2003 reunion earlier this year. Photo: Megan Dunn.

Penrith’s spirit shines with $60,000 raised for The Haven at the Mayoral Charity Ball, the return of the event for the first time in more than a decade.

A $500,000 reward is announced for information regarding the murder of Paul Strangio in Glenmore Park in February 2010.

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