Casino's underground bar
Eat and Drink
An underground car park will join converted buses, shipping containers and garages in Christchurch's growing list of quirky post-earthquake venues.
Christchurch Casino's new live-entertainment venue and bar is expected to be completed early next month and has been pegged for a mid-October opening.
The multimillion-dollar facility is being converted from the casino's underground car park and will be called the Mashina Lounge.
"It's got a Russian background; Mashina means car or machine. We wanted something fun and funky," casino food and beverage manager Blair McIntyre said.
The bar, which could hold up to 450 people, would feature a "large range of vodkas" and have a focus on cocktails to fit the Russian theme.
The Christchurch City Council's draft local alcohol policy (LAP) did not apply to the new premises as the casino could use its existing liquor licence to serve alcohol any time it was allowed to be open for gambling under the Gambling Act 2003.
However, McIntyre said the Mashina Lounge would probably close at 3am, matching its Victoria St neighbours, including the converted shipping container bar Revival.
"From our point of view, 3am is a good time. If people want to stay on after that they can go up into the main casino space because that will stay open 24 hours."
He was not concerned the council's draft LAP proposed having other Victoria St bars close by 1am.
"The LAP's got to be presented to the new council; they might not accept it. There's going to be a vigorous appeal process from both sides. I think it could be quite a long process."
He said the casino had invited the local residents' association into the unfinished venue to allay any concerns it might have had about a new late-night bar in the neighbourhood.
"They were initially a little bit dubious that it was going to be all late-night bands ... but they've seen it's going to achieve some other things," McIntyre said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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