Crowds beat chill to dine
There was hail in the morning but crowds in the evening for Stranges Lane and its three new restaurants.
Strange and Co, Lower 9th Diner and Orleans are all owned by the Britomart Hospitality Group from Auckland, and all opened together.
The three venues cluster around a central outdoor space at the corner of High and Lichfield streets, reminiscent of the old Poplar Ln.
Hundreds of people crowded the restaurants and bars last night, all eager to get a look and taste of the new development.
Operations manager Tom Newfield said he was determined to open yesterday regardless of the weather.
Orleans had been full all day with people checking out the new area and Newfield said he was expecting a big night despite the chilly weather.
The central courtyard area was already equipped with more than 20 gas heaters and was sheltered from the wind on all sides.
Larry Woods, the shoeshine man, had been brought down from Auckland to entertain the crowds with his witty patter.
Lower 9th Diner would be open from 7am for coffee and waffles, Orleans for lunch and dinner from 11am, and Strange and Co from 4pm.