Vandalism a bad start to new year for cafe

By Mike Dinsdale

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Temporary repairs are carried out at Walton St Cafe. PHOTO / MIKE DINSDALE
Temporary repairs are carried out at Walton St Cafe. PHOTO / MIKE DINSDALE

The owners of a popular Whangarei cafe won't let New Year's Eve vandalism that has forced their eatery to close for up to two weeks set the tone for their 2016.

A large plate glass window about 2.5 x 2.5 metres at Walton St Cafe was smashed during what was believed to be a drunken fight in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Co-owner Chris Brown said with a replacement sheet of glass large enough for the window not being available until possibly January 18, the decision was made to close the cafe until it could be repaired.

"We can only do temporary repairs until then and we don't think anybody will want to come in to eat with the place like this," Mr Brown said as he surveyed the wooden board covering the window after the temporary repairs were finished yesterday.

"We've been forced to close and that's a big hit for a small business like ours. We opened the days before New Year's Eve and were really busy, and this is normally our busiest time of the year so we will miss out."

The cafe was due to reopen on Tuesday after a few days closed for New Year. Mr Brown said he got a call from police about 7am yesterday to say the window had been broken.

"They said it was during a fight or something like that and I think they have got the person responsible," he said. "But we're going to have to close and it will cost several thousand dollars to replace the glass. But this is not going to set the tone for the New Year."

In another incident, a window on a property just metres away on the corner of John and Robert Sts was also smashed in the early hours of yesterday.

- Northern Advocate

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