Is Madras St the next new hot spot?

Plans under way for more food and music spots

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 10:51 13/08/2014
Sugarhorse
Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ

MOORHOUSE: Pete Rathod's Sugarhorse is now open.

Black Betty
Daniel Tobin/Fairfax NZ
ICONIC: Black Betty, one of Madras St's already well-known establishments.

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WATCH WOOLSTON

Terra Viva is expanding and opening a second branch in Woolston. The existing Terra Viva on Roydvale Ave is both cafe and garden centre, but has become too busy in the kitchen. The bakers have to start at 2am to clear the ovens in time for the day's trade. So, there will be a Terra Viva Bake opening in Woolston in part of the Holy Smoke building on Ferry Rd. Terra Viva Bake will supply to customers and wholesale clients, selling pastries, brioche, breads, cakes and muffins and the like. There will also be a Supreme coffee machine and a few tables and chairs while you wait. Terra Viva Bake will be opening next month.

MORE ON MOORHOUSE

The long-awaited Sugarhorse eatery and tapas bar is open on Moorhouse Ave. The look is classy and modern and the menu is all about shared plates and some plates to scoff by yourself. Owner Pete Rathod used to own the Thirsty Marriner out in Sumner but his new venture is very different to the seaside pub. Sugarhorse is open weekdays from 7.30am and weekends from 8am, doing breakfast, lunch and dinner with plates of food in between. It's at 100 Moorhouse Ave between Selwyn St and Antigua St.

BRITOMART BEGINS

After months of delays and hiccups, the three Britomart Hospitality bars are open in the Stranges building on the corner of Manchester and High streets. The trio includes the Lower 9th Diner which is all about affordable eats - burgers and the like. Orleans is focused on southern American creole cuisine and Strange and Co has an industrial bar vibe. The result is more activity for the High St area, with the existing Vespa, Nucleus and Johnny Moore's new Brick Farm, all within walking distance of each other. Check out the new bars and restaurants in Stranges. Find them all on Facebook.

NEW PRECINCT?

If Victoria St and High St are all about hospo, the up and coming Madras St area is looking promising for music and food lovers. Plans are underway for some new venues on Welles St and Allen St. The area is already known for Black Betty and Winnie Bagoes with The Monday Room a short walk away. New music venues and bars in the area will cater to the nightlife crowd and work well for Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology students needing somewhere close to blow off steam. Zest will have more on this as plans unfold.

SAGGIO STAYING PUT

Saggio di Vino owner Lisa Scholz says reports of her trying to sell the restaurant are not true. Scholz, now approaching retirement age, has run Saggio's for 23 years. She says while she might consider selling if the right offer came along, the business is not on the market.

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However, she might be interested in hiring a hands-on manager so she can take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business, which currently has her working 80-hour weeks. "I have no intention of just leaving the business after 23 years," she says. "But I will have to move on one day."

Scholz invested a lot of time and money re-opening the iconic restaurant after the earthquakes.

WORTH A TRIP

Te Mata Estate winery and chef Ben Batterbury (True South Dining Room) are teaming up for a dinner like no other. A five-course degustation menu will be matched with 15 consecutive vintages of the Te Mata Coleraine at The Rees Hotel in Queenstown. Tickets range from $425-$625 per night for a package including two nights at the hotel, breakfast and tickets to The Coleraine Dinner. The dinner is November 15. To book email events@therees.co.nz.

- The Press

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