One of Whanganui's loved old homesteads overlooking the river in Somme Parade is about to reopen as a restaurant/cafe.

Legends was a cafe at 25 Somme Parade but it has been closed for the past five years.

It has been leased by owner Rory Smith to two brothers, who have created a company called River City Hospitality Ltd.

Karl and Mark Austen say the beauty of the old place, with its "sense of timeless elegance", will be perfect for their business, which will be licensed.


By the end of October it will be a seven-days-a-week cafe opening from 7.30am to 5.30pm, Karl Austen said.

At night the three dining rooms downstairs and two upstairs will be a degustation restaurant, if the plan is given a consent by Whanganui District Council.

Bookings will be required.

"The degustation restaurant at night will be appointment only, and if the dining rooms upstairs get consent then they will be for private dining only," he said.

"The view of the river from upstairs is phenomenal. It's as though you're sitting on the river. It's wonderful."

Though the outside of the building has been washed down, it won't be painted, Karl Austen said.

"It looks lovely as it is, old and slightly faded."

All of the trees and shrubs are being removed from the grounds to give a sense of clean green spaces.

"So the front white picket fence will now allow a clear, uninterrupted view of the river."

The new cafe and restaurant will be named 25 Somme Parade.

"Sounded good we thought ... 'meet you at 25 Somme'," he said.