Burgers, beers and now bars?

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 11:47 06/08/2014
Dragon's Den Social Lounge
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ

FINER THINGS IN LIFE: Andrew Brown and Jamie Lawton in the new Dragon's Den Social Lounge.

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BURGERS AND BARS?

Exciting news for Sydenham! The guys behind Burgers and Beers have teamed up again to open a bar.

Tama Haas and Andrew Brown own the two burger/beer joints (Sydenham and Cranford St), and will open a bar - Dragon's Den Social Lounge - next door to the Sydenham branch on Colombo St (pairing nicely with the classy new The Colombo; They share walls.

Dragon's Den Social Lounge is all about the finer things in life - cocktails, craft beer and the like. Brown says the food will be classy small plates, and a nod to the burger empire with small sliders on the menu. The bar will share a kitchen with the burger side, but have separate styles.

Dragon's Den's design is thanks to Swiss designer David Frei and, like Burgers and Beers, the art work tells a story. Brown says they hope to be open mid- month. Check out Dragon's Den Social Lounge on Facebook for opening updates and hours.

HOTEL HOTSEAT

More news from Andrew Brown. When he isn't running a burger empire, he was executive chef at The George Hotel, running its restaurants and function centre. After seven years cooking for the likes of Metallica and Prince William, Brown has decided to step aside and focus on his businesses. Hotel spokeswoman Wally Reyn says they haven't finalised his replacement yet. These jobs don't come up often so it will likely be hotly contested. Watch this space!

SWANKY TEA

Jonny Schwass, owner of Harlequin Public House and Christchurch's resident celebrity chef, is opening a brand new venture. Sadly, this means the end of Edesia. Schwass is turning the restaurant into a modern tearooms called Mrs Huck's - named for a Christchurch hospo icon of the 1920s. Schwass says the tearooms will have breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and a focus on freshly made food with some old-school gems in the mix. While it harks back to the same era he built Harlequin on, Schwass says the feel will be different. The existing Edesia fitout won't require too much drastic alteration. It will be open weekdays 7am-7pm and will be used as a function space at other times. They will be roasting their own coffee on-site. He hopes to be open mid-August. Find Mrs Huck's on Facebook.

CBD SPICE

Spice Paragon at Bush Inn has been making a name for itself as an up-market Asian restaurant. The menu is mostly Thai-fusion with plenty of dessert options for those with space after the main event. Spice Paragon is now starting up a second restaurant in Victoria St - "opening soon". It sits at the intersection of Victoria, Montreal and Salisbury streets in the bottom floor of a newly constructed building, adding to Victoria St's existing hospo bent.

MORE WINE!

Staking a claim on Carlton Corner, opposite the Carlton Hotel, will soon be The Wine Bar. It will be opening in the partially-hidden courtyard currently occupied by the likes of Keo Thai. Technically, its address is Shop 10, 4 Papanui Rd. Zest will have more details soon, but for now, we can comfortably assume it is a bar that will serve wine.

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PIE DAY

Results for the 2014 Bakels Supreme Pie Awards have been announced and Kidds Bakery on Cranford St has done well. They collected silver for the Mince and Cheese category, and came 5th in the vegetarian category.

MARKET MERIT

Results are out for the 2014 Farmers Markets Awards. Stewart Island Smoked Salmon Ltd (sold at Christchurch, Mt Pleasant and Lyttelton) won Freshest Food producer from the Water. Canterbury's Westwood Chicken won Tastiest Food producer from the Butchery, and Innovation from the Kitchen Bench was taken out by Cheviot Hills Fine Foods products sold at Lyttelton Farmers' Market. The South Island was also voted as the region best celebrating Farmers Markets.

FESTIVAL RETURNS

The South Island Wine and Food Festival will be held on December 6 in Hagley Park. More than 40 wineries will attend alongside food producers and restaurants. VIP, Connoisseur, Early Bird and General Admission tickets went on sale on Monday, August 4, through Dash Tickets at dashtickets.co.nz. Ticket prices start at $44.90.

The VIP area features catering from chef Jonny Schwass of Harlequin Public House, a reserved seating area and complimentary bar throughout the day. Early Bird tickets are limited to 2000. The price includes a souvenir tasting glass, three complimentary wine tasting tickets and access to all features and entertainment. More info can be found at winefestival.co.nz.

- The Press

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