Chafing at the bit
I know it's not easy to think about eating and drinking in the sun at the moment, but there's finally been some official word about what's going into the ground floor of the Chaffers Dock complex, and when. When I last speculated about it, the real estate people were promoting a November opening, and as I suspected, that's turned out to be a little over-optimistic: it's now expected to open "after Christmas".
Wellington Waterfront have listed some of the food and other retail outlets that are confirmed so far:
A restaurant called Home. They describe this as offering "sophisticated, relaxed dining from breakfast to after dusk", which all sounds good. I wonder, though, what sort of price point it will be aimed at. There are several upmarket (>$30 for a main) restaurants on the waterfront, and a few pubby places, but one thing we're really lacking is a stylish but reasonably-priced café (something like Floriditas or Scopa would be ideal). Depending upon the balance between "sophisticated" and "relaxed", this might conceivably fit the bill.
Mövenpick. An ice-cream outlet of some kind was always going to be an obvious choice, but I was expecting a branch of Kaffee Eis. It's not the most local of brands, but I'm not complaining.
Subway. Ugh. If we had to have an international fast-food chain, I suppose it's not the worst around, but I'd still have preferred something local like Wishbone or Wholly Bagels. Or even better, can someone please convince Ka Pai to open a branch?
Empire Skate Shop: With the skate park being the most popular part of Waitangi Park, a skate gear shop is a natural fit for Chaffers Dock. This is presumably a branch of the one in Lower Hutt (please, no-one tell their billboard designers!).
The Italian Caffe. The wording makes it sound like this will take longer to arrive than the others. When it does, here's hoping that it does better coffee that the Waitangi Park Café.
A "gourmet seafood restaurant". This is yet to be named, and is probably still some time away. It will be on the side facing the water, and if it lives up to its description, it should be the biggest drawcard of the lot.
So, that's confirmation of three restaurants or cafes, two takeaways and a sports gear retailer. Other businesses are reported to be still in negotiation, and according to the real estate billboards around the site, there are now only two spaces remaining.
Those billboards suggest that they need something like a "deli, café, day spa, convenience store, florist" to complement the other retail offerings. I'd suggest (purely from a selfish consumer's point of view) that they could also do with a good old-fashioned fish 'n' chip shop and somewhere that does a decent Martini (if none of the confirmed restaurants do so) to fill in the gap in my Martini map. Feel free to make your own suggestions: Hadyn, I can hear yours alread...