Popular Pedro's back on his feet
The Christchurch earthquakes cost Pedro Carazo his son, restaurant and home, but he is back in business.
The owner of the popular Pedro's Restaurant that was destroyed in the February 2011 quake, Carazo will today begin operating temporarily out of a container in the car park of Liquor King Carlton in Papanui Rd.
Pedro's House of Lamb will sell Pedro's signature dish of lamb shoulder and scalloped potatoes, and promises the same Spanish experience that made him a fixture in the central city.
Carazo, who runs the business with nephew Inaki Sanchez, said he was "a complete mess" after February 22 last year.
"I watched my building come down. I saw it collapse."
His son Christian was killed on the same day when the Canterbury Television building collapsed.
Carazo said it had been a "nightmare" to get his business running again.
"It was my idea to say, ‘Right, we want to get back to the city'," he said.
"But we were all naive when we started the process. We didn't know what we were doing, so there were a lot of delays."
He had intended to rebuild on the Worcester St site of his former restaurant.
When he returned from a trip to Spain to buy supplies and decorations for the new restaurant, he found the site had been earmarked for development by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera).
After a conversation with old friend Andy Gutschlag, store ambassador for Liquor King Carlton, Carazo was given the site rent-free for three months.
"We really wanted to help him get back on his feet," Gutschlag said.
Carazo then spent three months liaising with the city council to ensure the container was safe enough to occupy.
Carazo was "so excited" to be back.
"I don't know how people can complain about work. I'm 67 and retired, but I haven't retired from cooking," he said.