City Works Depot | Victoria Quarter | CBD:
Something wonderful is happening in Auckland’s Victoria Quarter. What was to be Rhubarb Lane is now City Works Depot, a new creative hub in the heart of the city. Outfitters are working feverishly to finish Al Brown’s new venture, a bagel cafe. He will be joining the likes of Three Beans Coffee Roasters (I love their rustic yet trendy store), ad agency Y&R, celebrity chef Michael Van De Elzen’s Foodtruck Garage (under construction), Brothers Brewery (the retro interior is a must-see), Shed 5, digital and design agencies. It is also rumoured that Ponsonby’s Golden Dawn Bar will be relocating to this uber hip location.
One thing that irked me is having to sit amongst a sea of cars but Doug Rikard-Bell from Shed 5 told me that he is planning on building an elevated “park” complete with trendy outdoor furniture where the car park is. I love the idea and look forward to spending lazy afternoons there. There is also no connection to the site from Nelson Street but that is going to change, stairs will shortly be built allowing for better access. It is a shame that the graffiti was removed and I am hoping that they rethink this and commission some street artists to brighten up the huge walls surrounding the property.
La Loupiote Acrobat Sailboat | Wynyard Quarter:
Make sure that you get down to Karanga Plaza @ Wynyard Quarter for an acrobatic show with a difference.
On a voyage around the world with acrobatic shows on a sailboat, La Loupiote has pulled into port in the Viaduct Harbour. After having performed in France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Caribbean Islands, east and west coast of Canada and USA, Bermudas, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii Islands and French Polynesia, acrobats Delphine and Franck have stopped by New Zealand to present two unusual performances. The French couple use the mast, boom, rigging and other parts of their sailboat as a stage to exhibit their acrobatics prowess.
Performances by donation. Shows are on Thursday – Sunday at 4.30pm and 6.30pm between 31 January and 17 February. The best viewing point is the tidal steps just across the Wynyard Crossing lifting bridge.
The Bird Cage | Wai-atarau Plaza:
The former Rob Roy Hotel will be buzzing with life once again. A new restaurant and bar, The Bird Cage, will be opening towards the end of February and will spill-out onto Wai-atarau Plaza. The Plaza will be adorned with trees and shrubs which will provide shelter for the outdoor tables and chairs. Ferry lights will create the atmosphere and the menu will be tapas style. I wish them all the best and look forward to seeing the Plaza teeming with life and not cars.
The MacKelvie Precinct | Ponsonby:
I have recently learned that RTA Studio’s fabulous MacKelvie Street Precinct is far from complete. The Precinct sits between Pollen and MacKelvie Streets with frontages on Ponsonby Road. Planning is under way for upgrades to the rear facades of the Ponsonby Road buildings – removing the non-heritage lean-tos and opening them up to the newly created courtyard.
The Longroom / Santos will also open up onto the new courtyard which will in turn link with the laneways of the Precinct. A new contemporary building will replace the current carpark on Pollen Street and complete the links of the precinct. Not resting on her laurels, Karen Walker will open a new store where Murder Burger used to be. Along with Lot 3 (to be featured soon), Ponsonby Central and The MacKelvie Precinct – Ponsonby is set to become a network of courtyards and laneways. Will Parnell sit up and take notice ?