Mayfair centre goes upmarket

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 07:51 27/08/2012
mayfair stand
ROBERT CHARLES
Three of Mayfair's owners, from left, Kymon Hill, Emma Puletaha and Doc van Praagh in the refurbished venue.

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The Mayfair opened on Thursday night to little fanfare, but its events calendar is already filling up.

Over the last few months the space on New Plymouth's Devon St West where Matinee Cafe and Restaurant and the strip joint Crave Club used to be has been joined and transformed into an upmarket events centre.

Mayfair Hospitality partner Doc van Praagh said he was thrilled with how the renovations and the opening had gone.

"It looks really great and we had a really good night. People have been coming in and going 'wow, this is something different' but it's all been positive."

The Mayfair's new offerings include three bars, a cafe/restaurant, a gaming machine room and a 500-person capacity event area which has had $80,000 worth of soundproofing installed.

Sola Rosa was the first to test out the new venue on Friday night, while comedian Gish is set to give it a go tonight.

On Wednesday, an invitation-only party will see Taranaki VIP's celebrate the opening of the Mayfair while comedian Ewan Gilmour will perform next month and Op Shop and Dragon have also been lined up for gigs in October.

Sound won't be bringing down the house though; the 96-year-old former cinema had to be earthquake proofed during the renovations.

"I'd say there's 35 or 40 tons of steel been put in," Mr van Praagh said.

The character of the old cinema hasn't been lost, with high decorative ceilings, and two grand staircases framing an atrium space.

"There's not a lot left that we haven't messed with one way or another," said co-owner Kymon Hill.

Mayfair's head chef Mark Emms said he was excited about the Mayfair's new menu, which includes the tried and true bacon sarnies and Matinee's famous pizzas.

"We're also putting a new spin on some old favourites. We're going back to using Iceburg lettuce in our burgers instead of the fancy lettuce everyone has been using lately."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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