Boom time on The Strand

By Amy McGillivray

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Lone Star owners Jaqui and Trevor Donaghy say business has been booming since the restaurant moved back to The Strand almost three weeks ago. Photo/George Novak
Lone Star owners Jaqui and Trevor Donaghy say business has been booming since the restaurant moved back to The Strand almost three weeks ago. Photo/George Novak

Business is booming on The Strand as new eateries are breathing new life into the area.

Lone Star owner Jaqui Donaghy said the restaurant had been averaging 1600 meals a week since it moved back to The Strand at the start of the month - almost 230 meals a day divided evenly across the week.

Ms Donaghy said the school holidays were traditionally a busier time for the business and the restaurant had been full most nights since it re-opened on The Strand after a stint on Devonport Rd.

"We've just come out of the school holidays and we've done brilliant numbers and we haven't been able to use our outside area," she said. "We're double the size now. We can put more people in so we have been."

Mrs Donaghy said she was hoping new businesses like Lone Star would help bring life back to the central city area which had struggled over the past few years.

"We like to work with other people down on The Strand. Anything to bring people to The Strand," she said. "We're all looking to do some good things to revitalise it. Tauranga's a growing town so I think it's got huge potential for the future."

Comida owner Luigi Barattieri said Lone Star's arrival was bringing more people out to The Strand.

"It's a typical Tauranga winter. Some great days and some very boring days. The new businesses coming along like Lone Star are bringing people back to The Strand," he said. "What we need is just to revive the interest in The Strand and I think that's what the new businesses are doing. We need to get all the shops occupied. People want to go where people are."

Mr Barattieri said new restaurants were always popular when they first opened, but also pushed the standard up and encouraged others to do so.

Brew Craft Beer Pub manager David Stanway said business had been better than expected during the bar's first year in Tauranga and had not been affected by newer restaurants opening.

"We're really happy. Things are going great on the craft beer side for us because we've got a point of difference," he said. "I think things are actually better than we expected."

Having special deals on during the winter was important as they did not get the one off business that came through in summer and he put some of the bar's success down to the Monday night quiz and Thursday's $15 steak special.

Takara owner Rachel Yoo agreed Lone Star's return to the strip had not drawn customers away, but attracted more people to the area.

"They are different cuisine from us so we do have our solid customer base so we are very happy they came in."

Takara's move from Wharf St to The Strand last year had also been good for business, she said.

Mainstreet Tauranga's Sally Cooke said it was encouraging to hear the restaurateurs were seeing a steady trade.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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