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Christchurch bars, cafes nearing pre-earthquake levels

Christchurch restaurants, bars and cafes nearing pre-earthquake levels

August 22, 2014

Christchurch nightlife including restaurants, bars and cafes are nearing pre-earthquake levels as the rebuild and path to recovery continues to gain momentum, University of Canterbury business researcher Associate Professor Sussie Morrish says.

She says there have been interesting and exciting changes to the hospitality scene in the last year. Many of the opened and new premises cater to a wide selection of cuisine from contemporary New Zealand food, to popular international tastes such as Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, South American, Continental and European.

Associate Professor Morrish will deliver a public lecture about Christchurch and opportunities on campus next Wednesday (August 27). View here for details: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/wiw/.

``Those that want fine dining are catered for just as those who prefer bistro-type and fast food service. However, cafes dominate a majority of the hospitality premises. Interestingly, many of these cafes are also bars and have been filling the gap left by the closure of some of the city’s drinking places.

``Research of our geo-spatial maps show a concentration of bars and restaurants are still clinging to the main arterial routes leading to the CBD like Victoria Street and Papanui Road, Riccarton Road and Lincoln Road in Addington.

``The University of Canterbury has strategies for attracting more students and the number of construction workers continues to rise as more building works get under way. Hospitality and entertainment is important for these people and cafes, bars and restaurants play a significant role as Christchurch revamps.

``The demand for cafes, bars and restaurants continues but more can be done and this opens opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to give it a go. Christchurch has become a great place now for entrepreneurs. Where else can you find a city booming with all sorts of entrepreneurial opportunities?

``At this point the city, as it rebuilds, could be classed as an entrepreneurial utopia. With so much lost, there is plenty of room for experienced and nascent entrepreneurs to start businesses – social or otherwise.

``Already hospitality entrepreneurs are reaping the rewards of their perseverance and passion. The astute ones do not limit themselves to one business and instead continue to expand their portfolios targeting different markets in some cases although a few just open up second or third as premises become available.

``My advice to would-be entrepreneurs is to stop hesitating and give it a go. The corridor principle coined by famous business academic Robert Ronstadt suggests that entrepreneurs see corridors that they otherwise would not see if they have not taken the first step. Some will not necessarily succeed first time but with every failure or mistake they learn to do it better. There is nothing like real experience to teach us lessons in life.

``Entrepreneurs do not need to compete. There is much room for collaboration and new business models that complement each other. As an entrepreneurship and marketing scholar, I am very excited to see how the Christchurch entrepreneurial scene evolves as the rebuild and recovery continue,’’ Associate Professor Morrish says.

The city has been voted the second best city in the world to visit this year by the New York Times, which praised Christchurch's ingenuity, and its entrepreneurs in bringing life back into the city. Last year, Lonely Planet put Christchurch at number six on its list of the top 10 cities for 2013, describing the city as `rising from the rubble with a breath-taking mix of spirit, determination and flair’.

ENDS

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