Krauts' owners see opportunities in CBD

Tahunanui restaurant Krauts German Eatery is moving into Nelson city.

Owner Jasmin Wessels said they planned to open as Krauts Restaurant and Bar in the former Altitude premises in Montgomery Square in September.

The move meant an investment for the business, which had grown in the three years since it opened, she said.

"Still in this difficult time we have good figures," she said.

She runs the business with her brother Raz Zulfiqar and head chef Golo Martin.

The lease had run out on their Tahunanui Dr premises and they had chosen not to renew it, she said.

They were waiting for building consents on the Montgomery Square premises.

It would have a bigger interior with bar and lounge area with dining, and would open for lunch and dinner.

"Tahuna was just the beginning, we definitely want to move into the Nelson CBD, with more foot traffic and the Saturday market."

She said 90 per cent of their customers were locals, and they appealed to a more mature market who did not want loud music.

"After three years we have a better feeling for Nelson and the people and what they want.

"We have a niche market and it gives us confidence to invest."

On Queen's Birthday Monday some Nelson bars and cafes did not open.

The Honest Lawyer Country Pub co-owner Darryn Eves said it closed on public holidays because it was not worth opening.

"All you do is pay your staff. At the end of the day why be open to lose money?"

He said the business was probably doing better than most, and had just gained the Stone Grill franchise for the Tahunanui, Stoke and Richmond area which it would start from Friday.

Smugglers Pub and Cafe in Tahunanui also did not open on Monday and co-owner Mike Thomas said they used the day for maintenance.

He said it was a quiet day as visitors left to return from their holidays.

Business was good and it had a good rapport with moteliers in the area, he said.

Robbie's Bar and Bistro in Richmond, which has a sign saying it was closed for the long weekend, remained closed yesterday, with phone calls unanswered.

Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dot Kettle said its members had been contacting it after a report in Saturday's Nelson Mail on the recession hitting small businesses.

"While no-one doubts the current tough economic climate, many local business owners are confident about their future," she said.

"A combination of resilience and determination, coupled with a renewed focus on meeting customer needs and realistic expectations is proving to be a successful business formula for many of our members."