Friends, family, former staff, musicians and many old customers will fondly honour 'Reva the Diva' tomorrow night at the last blast of an iconic Whangarei pizzeria and bar.
Reva's on the Waterfront will close its doors permanently on Saturday because restaurateur and bon vivant Reva Meredith was unable to renew the Whangarei District Council lease on the prime location at the Town Basin.
Ms Meredith and her husband Doug ran Reva's from the site since the Town Basin was rebuilt and relaunched as a quayside precinct and destination in 1995. The couple, originally from California, had their popular pizzeria at two different locations near the Town Basin for 20 years before then.
"We were the face of the Town Basin," Ms Meredith said in an earlier article about the closure.
"We were the only place open at night for years, we had jam nights, shows, themed nights. We were right there for all those yachties, we became a destination and were known internationally."
As well as those international boating people, clientele over the decades included local people and other tourists, among them - famously - the French secret service saboteurs masquerading as tourists but who were on their way to blow up the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior in Auckland.
The building's new leaseholder is Lloyd Rooney who has owned The Cove cafe and bar at Waipu Cove since 2014. Mr Rooney hopes that after a style makeover the new waterfront restaurant and bar will be open by winter.
Ms Meredith said she'd love to see many of her old customers and friends at tomorrow night's farewell party from 6pm, but the last hurrah will be an on-site auction on April 17 of all chattels, from ovens to the yacht shaped table number holders - many items destined to become memorabilia of an era of entertainment and hospitality in Whangarei.