Peak House is being given an overdue makeover from its new owner, who plans to reopen the restaurant this winter.
The Te Mata Park Trust approved the new lease for Peak House, which has been vacant for 12 months, to Hawke's Bay man Alex Kersjes.
The trust was in the throws of developing the Te Mata Park Visitor and Education Centre, just below Peak House. It planned to lease the Peak House building, which has views across Napier and Hastings, until the visitor centre opened.
Mr Kersjes said the building was being renovated and he was on the hunt for an executive chef to produce a unique Hawke's Bay menu.
It would offer a daytime cafe menu and an interim point of call for visitor information about the park while the restaurant would open for the evenings.
"I'm really excited to have the opportunity to open The Peak, it's such a fantastic site with tremendous opportunity," Mr Kersjes said.
"I'm Hawke's Bay born and bred so I'm looking forward to being part of celebrating Hawke's Bay and the park."
Mr Kersjes recently returned from the Britain where he was involved in the hospitality industry. He also purchased the Corn Exchange in Hastings and Turks Bar in Havelock North.
Te Mata Park trustee Mark Holder said the lease was good news for the trust.
"Having a cafe gives visitors somewhere other than the lookout to enjoy the tranquillity and stunning views.
"Mr Kersjes has a passion for the park and Hawke's Bay and we are delighted to have him operating The Peak."
The Peak House lease would help fund park activities and maintenance, as well as the development of the new centre.
"Another important element to having a business operating within the park is the passive security, having people keeping an eye on people going into the park, especially after dark," Mr Holder said.
The new-look Peak House restaurant would continue to operate until the new Te Mata Park Visitor and Education Centre was up and running.
The trust had lodged its resource consent to build the visitor centre with the Hastings District Council and the plan is open for public feedback.
The trust has raised $2.25 million for the $4 million project. It included $1.1 million from Hastings council, $500,000 from Hawke's Bay Regional Council, $250,000 from Napier City Council and $400,000 from private philanthropists and charitable trusts by fundraising consultancy Giblin Group.