Cafe opens on Godley House site

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 15:20 13/12/2012
godley cafe
John Kirk-Anderson

NEW CAFE: A new cafe has opened on the grounds of the former Godley House.

godley cafe
A new cafe has opened on the grounds of the former Godley House.

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More than two years after the historic Godley House was irreparably damaged a new cafe has opened on the grounds.

The new Godley cafe is now operating out of a temporary premises located besides the grounds of the former Godley House in Diamond Harbour.

Former Godley House operator Michelle Anderton and her new business partner Jill Martin were thrilled with the cafe's official opening last Friday.

"We had a really fantastic response with about 60 people turning out," Martin said.

"I think people are just happy to see it back in some form. They've embraced the idea."

The historic Godley House was demolished at the end of last year after suffering major damage in the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes.

Two independent reports from structural engineers concluded that the 1880 building, which was registered as Category II Historic Place,  was un-salvageable and needed to be demolished.

Anderton was in the building during the September earthquake.

"It was very sad for Michelle and her family going through that and seeing it come down," Martin said.

"It was actually sad for everyone in the community because it was such an iconic building. It's still a sad and empty site but at least we are doing something positive to move forward."

The new cafe has a commercial kitchen and is fully licensed. It is open Wednesday to Sunday, with late nights on Friday and Saturday.

"We've got a deck with a great view where people can sit out and have a cider in the sunshine," Martin said.

"It's still a beautiful spot."

Future plans for the site of the old Godley House are still undecided.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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