19 March 2015
Last updated at 21:54
The Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney was the site of a 17-hour hostage siege in December that killed two
A cafe in Sydney where two people died in a 17-hour siege in December is to reopen on Friday with a plaque to commemorate the dead.
Gunman Man Haron Monis took 18 people hostage in the Lindt cafe in Martin Place.
Police stormed the cafe, but hostages Tori Johnson, 34, and Katrina Dawson, 38, were killed, along with Monis.
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird was due to meet staff at the cafe ahead of the reopening.
Announcing the decision on Tuesday, Steve Loane, Chief Executive of Lindt Australia, said reopening was “the best thing to do”.
“After the tragic events that happened in December we discussed this reopening with our staff and gave a lot of thought to next steps,” he said.
“Overwhelmingly, the feeling was that reopening and moving forward is the best thing to do for everyone affected.”
Cafe manager Tori Johnson was one of two hostages who lost their lives
Barrister Katrina Dawson was killed when police stormed the cafe
A permanent plaque has been installed inside the cafe in memory of Mr Johnson, the cafe’s manager, and Ms Dawson, a barrister.
“This has been an extremely difficult period for so many people impacted by those tragic events,” said Mr Loane.
He requested that the cafe staff’s “personal privacy is respected as they go back to work and the job they enjoy so much”.
The cafe has been renovated to repair the damage caused by the siege.
Monis was known to police. He received political asylum in Australia in 1996 and was on bail facing a number of charges when he attacked the cafe.