Navajo Steakhouse set to open on Friday

Navajo Steakhouse owner Aki Negi is opening his wild-west themed restaurant where the Barrel and Crate used to be on ...
DAVID UNWIN/STUFF

Navajo Steakhouse owner Aki Negi is opening his wild-west themed restaurant where the Barrel and Crate used to be on Fitzherbert Ave on Friday.

A brand new Palmerston North steakhouse is riding into town.

The Navajo Steakhouse on Fitzherbert Ave opens on Friday, with a 50 per cent discount for dinners on the first night.

First-time restaurant owner Aki Negi, a former manager at Rendezvous, was eager to blaze his own trail after eight years in the industry.

"I was working too hard for other people and thought it's always good to work for yourself. Then you get to do things the way you want things done."

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Negi took over the former Barrel and Crate site next to the Fitzherbert Challenge petrol station in September.

He's been working hard to get the restaurant's Navajo-themed decor ready for the opening ever since.

He said it fitted with the building's rustic, old-time feel and he wanted to do something different to the usual cowboy-themed steakhouse, while sticking with the wild-west look.

There will be photos of the Native American tribe's leaders and people, alongside dream catchers and Navajo art, with screens showing videos featuring traditional dances and flute music.

"These days people don't dine out very often. So I want to give them great food and make it a memorable experience so people want to come back again."

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The site has a long history of chewing through tenants and it has recently housed two different hospitality businesses in as many years.

Twenty Two kitchen and bar closed over the 2015 Christmas holidays, after opening that year. The Barrel and Crate took over the site and opened last June. It lasted about as long as its predecessor.

The previous tenants hadn't managed to make a go of it as bars as well, and Negi had no intention of splitting his focus.

He said he wanted to operate an affordable, all-day, family-friendly restaurant, and it was in a good location.

And he planned to offer discounts to workers at nearby offices, such as FMG and IRD, and guests at the Quest Hotel, to build a customer base.

 - Stuff

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