WellUrban

Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Waiting to dock


The glacial progress on the Chaffers Dock complex looks like it's finally getting somewhere, with the first signs of retail outlets preparing to open. When I last reported on progress back in November, the public opening of the piazza was expected "after Christmas, in time for a busy summer". The latest waterfront newsletter (perhaps wisely) doesn't give any new completion dates, but a couple of tenancies now look very close to opening.

Retail about to open in Chaffers DockUnfortunately, the one that looks nearest to completion is the one I've been looking forward to the least: a Subway outlet. I guess you could say that at least it's cheap and family-friendly, unlike some other recent waterfront openings, but surely there were better options that that? Even the bright shade of yellow that they've painted the interior beams detracts from the crisp cool blues of the building itself.

The Port Cafe: opening at Chaffers Dock 'soon'Next door to that is a business that sounds a bit more inviting: The Port Café. This wasn't mentioned by name in November's newsletter, though there was mention of a "waterfront-facing gourmet seafood restaurant". While the notice refers to it as "a new era in seafood", the mention of BYO and takeaway options hint that it might not be so upmarket. Not that I'm complaining: a casual BYO restaurant is just what the waterfront is missing, and we've gone far too long without a fish 'n' chip shop beside the water. I just hope that they take more care with their cooking than they do with their spelling.

The upmarket dining component of the Chaffers Dock complex should be provided by a restaurant called Home. All the indicators are that it should be something special: a location on the sunny northwest corner of the Art Deco building, a fitout by Allistar Cox, and an experienced team of operators. Unfortunately, there seems to have been virtually no progress in the last few months, leading me to wonder whether they're planning to wait out the winter and open when the weather will bring more people to the water.

The park-side tenancies seem to be making more progress, with some interesting curved walls in one of them. The atrium between the old and new buildings is looking to be a fantastic space, with plenty of light and some exciting architectural touches, though strangely it appears to be being advertised for lease as a supermarket. There are also finally some signs that the waterside promenade is about to be re-sealed, after a much longer closure than anyone expected. I guess no-one can accuse the developers of a quick rush job, but all this waiting is getting frustrating.

9 Comments:

At 11:44 pm, May 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Licinsed?

 
At 7:27 am, May 07, 2007, Anonymous che tibby said...

the good thing is?

chefs don't need to know how to spell.

 
At 9:28 am, May 07, 2007, Anonymous mike said...

Well, if chefs are going to persist with their foreign phrases and whatnot to sound upmarket, there are probably some circumstances where I'd like them to be at least semi-literate: like the difference between poison and poisson.

 
At 10:24 am, May 07, 2007, Blogger Joanna said...

At least it's not a new error in seafood.

 
At 11:51 am, May 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, its a new era in seafood....

 
At 1:54 pm, May 07, 2007, Blogger Joanna said...

It's.

Or are you being ironic?

 
At 2:24 pm, May 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, i'm just being an idiot. At least the person writing the sign just needs to learn to spell. I need to learn to read as well....

On the bright side, at least we can have good luck happy long time looking for silly spelling mistakes in menu. I'm picking its going to be a chinese restaurant, deep frying fish direct from the sea (although, hopefully not direct from the polluted Chaffers Marina....)

 
At 2:40 pm, May 07, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Chinese, eh? Is there any specific reasoning or inside knowledge behind that, or just speculation? As long as it serves good fush 'n' chups, I'll be happy.

 
At 3:58 pm, May 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, just hopeful : www.thetimesmagazine.com/images/DSCN3960.jpg

 

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