Expanding Chch nightlife all set for Cup Week next week
Expanding Christchurch nightlife all set for Cup Week next week
October 5, 2013
Christchurch nightlife, including restaurants, bars and cafes, back is back to 90 percent of pre-earthquake levels, University of Canterbury (UC) researcher Dr Sussie Morrish says.
A total of 833 restaurants, cafes and bars are now open in the city compared to 794 four months ago and 566 operating as at January last year.
Dr Morrish says Christchurch has recovered rapidly in the last 12 months since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, and the city as well positioned as it heads next week into Cup Week, traditionally the start of increased nightlife in the city as summer and school holidays approach.
The hospitality sector has to continue to meet the needs of residents and visitors to Christchurch and the Canterbury region as the rebuild continues, Dr Morrish says.
``The University of Canterbury and other education providers have strategies for attracting more students and the number of construction workers continues to rise as more building work gets under way. Hospitality and entertainment are important for these people and cafes, bars and restaurants play a significant role.
``We are seeing stimulating new trends such as The Tannery in Woolston, which is an extremely exciting development with its boutique shops, restaurants and bars. The Victorian theme is most impressive and it will no doubt become popular as a destination for those seeking a change from contemporary shops.
``A lot of thought and sweat have gone into this development and the wonder in people’s eyes as they enter the complex is so refreshing to see. One can envisage all sorts of events such as theatre, fashion shows or themed parties that could be staged in and around that complex.
``In the CBD, Victoria Street is becoming alive again with the Casino, Saggio di Vino, Harlequin Public House and a few others now settled in. It makes a nice extension to the Merivale/Papanui entertainment cluster.
``It is heartening to see that some entrepreneurs have been mindful of the city’s history and they are capitalising on the past as a theme such as The Tannery, the Addington railway and jailhouse and the Carlton.
``Historically, one will see that complementary businesses spring up around established institutions such as universities. Where there is a critical mass, business will thrive.
``From a marketing perspective, however, the novelty and hype of new businesses opening will still need to be matched by customer service. As the number of eating places rise, customers will have a choice and operators need to be mindful of the customer experience especially as people are now quick to post on social media or online review sites their experiences.
``Already, some new restaurants are getting a hammering for service relating to waiting time, staff issues and food that is not up to standard. In this business, e-word of mouth can be a two-edged sword.
``With winter a distant memory, and 2013 drawing to a close, attention in Christchurch is now turning to celebrations and winding down. Cup Week, which celebrates the social side of the New Zealand trotting and galloping cups, will herald the start of the summer social calendar and it is an opportune time for our cafes, bars and restaurants to show what they can do to attract the punters. There is certainly more on offer this year than last year and that is exciting to watch.’’
Dr Morrish says Christchurch is seriously progressing forward now and it is an amazing city to be part of as the rebuild steps up.
Prime Minister John Key’s announcement last week of the Government’s $260 million support for UC will play a significant part in the city’s rebuild. See a YouTube video of the announcement here: http://youtu.be/r1EUv7GXPlo.