Brazilian barbecue a big hit with Lower Hutt foodies
An all-you-can-eat Brazilian-style barbecue is proving a big hit with Lower Hutt residents.
Since the Station Village, which is now known as Station Gardens, went into liquidation in September 2015 the property has had a $2 million upgrade by its new owner, the Wellington Hospitality Group.
Director Will Williams oversaw a complete overhaul of the complex, which is based around an old railway station, and now includes a craft beer and whisky bar, an Italian-style cafe, a traditional sports bar and Gauchos BBQ.
The station venue has long been regarded as Lower Hutt's premier entertainment precinct and its closure in 2015 caused a storm on social media, with locals lamenting its loss.
The Station Village was known as a venue for rock concerts and although there is still live music, it is on a smaller scale.
The new owners are keen to get on with their neighbours and Williams said there had been no noise complaints, since they took over.
He is delighted with the fit out and now that it is complete, he predicts Station Gardens will become a regional attraction.
"I think we are filling a bit of a gap in the market. You can come out here and have four different options."
He was in talks with council officials about getting trains running on the Melling Line in weekends and for the Lions tour later this year.
Melling trains run Monday to Friday but Williams believed Wellingtonians would use a weekend train service.
Group director of hospitality Vince Lombino said feedback on the upgrade had been good but it was the Brazilian barbecue that had really taken off.
"It has gone seriously well, we are rapt with the feedback. People just love it."
Gauchos manager Claire Dyke said that with a huge range of salads, it was not only meat lovers that enjoyed it.
"Even vegetarians and vegans love it because the salad bar is amazing."
Williams said the cost of the upgrade was spread between the complex's landlord and Wellington Hospitality.
There are 45 staff, including six who worked for the previous owners.