Peter Walker checks out the architectural renaissance taking place in the central city and what we can expect to find in these pockets of awesome.
You can’t possibly miss Deloitte House in your meanderings along the Avon River. With office space filling up down town and the commercial lifeblood of the city flowing again, this spectacular architectural icon was one of the first developments to be completed and has, since 2015, overlooked the completion of many others.
It is an impressive structure, home to the Christchurch offices of the accounting and professional services network, as well as firms such as Simpson Grierson, Forsyth Barr, QBE Insurance, the Decipher Group and Tailorspace, and the Ben Gough Family Office, among others.
On the ground floor is embattled, and now closed, eatery Bamboozle – watch this space – whose lesser infamous neighbour is Johnny Sausage, a neat little coffee and bagel joint slash pizzeria, inspired by New York mobster John ‘Johnny Sausage’ Barbato.
Just along the lane is the Whet Drinking Room. Open 4 ‘til late Tuesday through Saturday, it is “an exquisite curation of gin, whisky and craft beer”, and boasts a pretty good looking menu, too.
On the opposite side of the Avon, The Terrace continues to expand with food, drink and nightlife venues tucked into dark, intimate corners.
Paddy’s and The Little Fiddle have takeaway or eat-in carvery foods and an entertaining Irish pub scene. Across Oxford Lane is the Bangalore Polo Club, “home of the infamous Bangalore Badgers and the most unique hospitality experience this side of the equator” according to its Facebook page.
On the corner of Cashel and Oxford, under the Westpac logo, is Hawker & Roll, Malaysian inspired street food with “vibrant and authentic flavours”. Next door to that is Amazonita, a “refreshing gastronomic paradise” with a dash of Mediterranean influence.
This is the tip of the city’s burgeoning culinary iceberg. New Regent Street continues to offer more and more eating and drinking options, and the Street Food Market in Cathedral Square every Friday is very popular. With food stalls such as Nanny’s Food Truck, Kung-Fu Dumpling, and the Vagabond Chefs, one can only hope the food is as good as the names (hint: it is!).
North of the CBD, at 76 Victoria Street, is the home of Craigs Investment Partners. It is also the offices of lawyers Rhodes & Co., Rockwell Automation, EQI Global, Olympic Software and Aspiring Asset Management.
On the ground floor, looking out onto the busy intersection, is Khao San Road and Spice Paragon, Thai style cocktails and cuisine. On the corners of the building are Apollo Power Yoga (Salisbury Street) and, on the other side, arguably the most unique function venue, Beam Gallery. As the name hints, it’s a massive collection of Jim Beam decanters, memorabilia and collectibles. It’s by appointment only, so have a look at www.beamgallery.nz.
Tucked in behind the Craigs building is Casamassima Italian Fare, “real Italian” foods, coffee, wine and products. Craft beers, too! The future of food in the CBD is looking pretty good. When are you heading down town to eat next?