Change of tack may hit restaurant

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013
Martin Bosley.
CRAIG SIMCOX
TOUGH TIMES: Restaurateur Martin Bosley.

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Top chef Martin Bosley could soon be forced to move out of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Oriental Bay.

The club is advertising the lease on the premises, where his restaurant, Martin Bosley's, has been based for the past 12 years.

It wants to include a cafe or more casual dining as part of its plan to rejuvenate the boat harbour precinct.

Bosley acknowledged times had been tough for his restaurant in recent years, "but this is a most extraordinary decision".

"We love the space. It's a beautiful part of Wellington, and it's where I want to be.

"I knew this was the club's strategy, but I'm disappointed that was the decision it made, because working through the recovery is a whole lot easier if you've got guaranteed tenure."

The lease expires in March and he intends to put in a bid to retain it.

"Hopefully we will win through, but if not we will be looking for opportunities elsewhere."

Yacht club chief executive Dean Stanley said the club had been talking to Bosley for six months about a change of focus, and had offered him the chance "to go at it exclusively, but he didn't bite at that".

"We want to make it a little less exclusive and bring it down a few clicks to get into the smart casual market and have it open for longer on the weekends."

Mr Stanley said this would tie in with plans to make the boat harbour a much more public space, with a promenade and decks right down on the water.

Fine dining that catered for diplomatic and business functions would continue, but the club wanted to cater for the weekend brunch market as well.

A call for expressions of interest in the lease closes with Paul Hastings real estate on February 8.

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- The Dominion Post

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