Cafe chat: Christchurch container cafe gets sleek new digs

Coffee Traders opened last week in its slick premises at 123 Victoria St.
Stacy Squires

Coffee Traders opened last week in its slick premises at 123 Victoria St.

A container-dwelling coffee shop has upgraded to swanky new digs, cementing itself in the city's rebuild. 

As a fledgling business Coffee Traders found its feet in a converted shipping container at The Gourmet Hub, 99 Victoria St, three years ago. 

Last week it moved into the lobby of the new corporate office building at 123 Victoria Street, developed by Countrywide Group's Richard Diver. 

Coffee Traders owner Vanessa Clements in her cafe's new home at 123 Victoria St.
Stacy Squires

Coffee Traders owner Vanessa Clements in her cafe's new home at 123 Victoria St.

"It's my dream come true," owner Vanessa Clements says. Originally from Christchurch, Clements moved to the Gold Coast for a number of years. 

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"After the earthquake happened I had a longing to come back. It was always my vision to move back and open a lobby-based coffee bar."
Coffee Traders' former site in a converted shipping container, on the corner of Victoria and Salisbury Streets.
David Walker

Coffee Traders' former site in a converted shipping container, on the corner of Victoria and Salisbury Streets.

She says Coffee Traders is still the same friendly cafe, but with a slick, new look. "We have the same great grab-and-go coffee and food. I make bliss balls and there's grainy sandwiches made to order. Plus The Bohemian Bakery in Sumner supplies freshly baked goods and Rushani's in Lyttelton delivers fresh salads daily."

The first week in business has "totally exceeded" Clements' expectations. "My Victoria St regulars are continuing to support me along with new customers within the building."

A touch of the Gourmet Hub will be carried across to office building with the artist who crafted the large silver gnome outside the hub also creating three stainless steel sculptures for the lobby. 

O.G.B crew celebrating its expansion, with the addition of a restaurant.
Marcus Nee

O.G.B crew celebrating its expansion, with the addition of a restaurant.

Bigger space opens at O.G.B
O.G.B has expanded its bar and cafe offering and now boasts a new restaurant. Based in the Heritage Hotel building it has taken over the dining space across the corridor, making room to serve a dinner menu. Owner Nick Inkster says he's easing into the new space, but once he's given it his touch the Old Government Building restaurant will wow with a glitzy Great Gatsby atmosphere, complete with piano lounge. While the restaurant's makeover is not yet complete, Inkster says its old-fashioned service and exceptional food without fuss is drawing a full house almost every night. O.G.B in Cathedral Square is open seven days 9am to 1am. 

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Pumpkin fair in the country 
Head out to the country for Little River's annual pumpkin festival. The Little River Country Bumpkin Giant Pumpkin Festival draws hundreds of people from around the region each year. Marvel at the huge pumpkins and get the family involved with the traditional country fair games like gumboot throwing, bottle stalls and chocolate wheels. Fill up on the famous Little River pumpkin soup. On this Sunday, 11am to 3pm. 

Fresh face in Ferrymead
Speight's Ale House Ferrymead has a new boss. Andy Laloli took over ownership late March and has big plans to take the bar and eatery back to its roots. "For me it is about getting the basics right - great service, quality food, cold beer and welcoming southern hospitality," Laloli says. He's launching a fresh menu at the start of May formed around some key dishes designed by chef and My Kitchen Rules NZ host Ben Bayly. Open seven days, 11.30am to late, 2 Waterman Pl.

Speight's Ale House Ferrymead's new owner is revamping the menu.

Speight's Ale House Ferrymead's new owner is revamping the menu.

Do you have a food or beverage tip to share? Email laura.baker@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

 - Stuff

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