Madras St bars to open despite blueprint

THE CBD: Joseph Shanks, left, Alasdiar Cassels, and Zak Cassels, joint owners of the new bar and pizzeria.
THE CBD: Joseph Shanks, left, Alasdiar Cassels, and Zak Cassels, joint owners of the new bar and pizzeria.

The Cassels & Sons Brewery bar in Madras St will open this month as planned, despite the land being earmarked for the city's new stadium.

This year, the family-owned brewing company got Christchurch City Council-consent to open three bars in a century-old Madras St building owned by the Wellington-based brother of director Alasdair Cassels.

The first bar on the list to open, the art deco-style bar, on the ground floor was - and still is - due to open in a few weeks, Cassels said.

The building is part of the city blocks the Government has earmarked for buying and developing the city's covered stadium.

''I don't think that's going to worry us,'' Cassels said.

He understood the Government was unlikely to start building the stadium for years, leaving plenty of time for the bar to operate.

''In this environment you have to roll with the punches. It's a long way away - a three to five-year horizon we've been told, and that's not going to stop us opening our bars and offering our business really.''

It was part of the business' plan to open a new central bar to expand from The Brewery bar in Woolston, which was opened after the quakes.

''It's going to be quite something too. I don't think people will be disappointed with what we do.''

The second bar, a cocktail bar on the second floor, will open about six weeks after the first. The third, a live music venue, will open later on the same floor.

''If someone changes the rules, we'll change venues if we have to,'' Cassels said.

''We may even be part of the stadium, who knows? We're part of the city and we want to do something there and do it well.''

Meanwhile, KPI Rothschild Property Group managing director Shaun Stockman said his newly-finished Westende House will remain in the green frame to the east of the city.

The replacement for the Westende Jewellers which was badly damaged in the September quake is just inside the green zone, at the corner of Manchester and Worcester streets.

Long-established Christchurch stockbroker Hamilton Hindin Greene moved into the top floor of the two-storey building about two weeks ago.

Stockman said Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee had told a central city plan briefing that his building would be allowed to stay. Stockman understood the area would be sprinkled with commercial and some residential buildings.

The Press