Customers return as takeaway reopens
A popular Akaroa takeaway shop has risen from the ashes.
The new-look Akaroa Fish & Chips opened its doors yesterday for the first time since the old shop was destroyed by fire in March.
Owner Brent Slagter said he was pleased many former regulars had returned for their fish and chips fix.
A screen on the counter showed clips of the shop since the fire through its reconstruction.
"It's a nice way to open. Things are not so busy, so we can get used to everything," he said.
"Usually Boxing Day is quiet in Akaroa. People are having Christmas leftovers."
Some passengers from Akaroa's visiting cruise ships sampled the shop's fare, but Slagter expected trade to flourish in the new year.
Christchurch visitor Hayden Lill, 12, was glad to have the town's only fish and chips shop back.
"It's probably the best [fish and chips] in New Zealand that I've ever tasted," he said.
Wayne Jones, owner of the L'Escargot Rouge and Bully Hayes restaurants, said holiday visitor numbers in Akaroa were beginning to build.
"It's fairly busy but not as busy as it will be [today]. It will be 30 to 40 per cent busier," he said.
Vangionis Trattoria and Bar owner Steve Bradley said few cruise ship passengers dined at the restaurant.
The first two weeks of January were the busiest time, he said.