They're known for their champagne tastes in Herne Bay, but it's not "cheers" for customers at the area's newest supermarket.
Those stepping inside the new store in our wealthiest suburb can't step out with the discounted champagne, beer or wine.
The bottles are there and all full, and even the top champagne is discounted by $61.99/bottle.
But the store opened ahead of its liquor licence being granted and no date is yet being given about when that will change.
Tall wood partitions prevent customers from entering the alcohol section of the new $50 million Metro Herne Bay and apologies are offered: "While we wait for our liquor licence to be granted, we are unable to sell liquor in this store. We apologise for any inconvenience," says the green Countdown-branded sign by the door.
Staff said it might be "a couple of weeks" before a licence is granted.
Liquor is sold at Farro Grey Lynn at 34 Westmoreland St nearby, as well as the Liquorland directly across Kelmarna Ave from the new Metro Herne Bay.
Mervyn Chetty, Auckland Council alcohol and environmental health manager, said the license was applied for two months ago.
Countdown Herne Bay applied on April 8.
"The application is currently waiting on reports from the Police and the Medical Officer of Health, before the application report can be completed. The council also received three public objections against the application. Once the external agency reports have been received, the completed application report will be sent to the District Licensing Committee for its determination on the application," Chetty said.
Countdown is adamant the store at 1 Kelmarna Ave was a big success.
"It's been a fantastic, busy weekend at our new Metro Herne Bay store, with more than 5000 people through the doors over the last four days," she said.
"We're hearing lots of positive feedback from customers who are enjoying the premium range of quick eating products available and the fresh, modern feel. Customers are really loving some of the new options we've got on offer at Herne Bay like treats from Daily Bread, barista-made coffee and freshly-made pizza," she said.
Weekend promotions included free coffee vouchers, mini pizzas made in the store oven, fresh free biscuits and live entertainment.
"We're looking forward to settling into the neighbourhood and hope to see lots more locals popping in to visit us soon," the spokesperson said.
The new store has Dom Perignon discounted by $61.99 to $249/bottle, each trolley is made from 75 recycled milk bottles and the groceries are stacked like art.
The 4000sq m store with 56 basement carparks opened on Friday morning last week and is in the inner-city waterfront area of Auckland where house prices have dominated the market for years.
Waitematā and Gulf ward councillor Pippa Coom forecast the shop would be a great addition to the area.
"I'm impressed with the local and sustainability focus of Metro Herne Bay and to see the successful local recruitment and encouragement to team and customers to use active transport. It is also great to hear about the partnership with the Salvation Army and Fair Food," Coom said.
Kurt Gibbons of Gibbons Co and Ben Cook of Cook Property developed and own the building on the site of the former Stables which they bought from Mansons TCLM.
They hold the new Jervois Rd shop in their jointly-owned company Manhattan Capital, which Gibbons said had around $250m of real estate, including other supermarkets and shops.
The Herald reported last year that Cook had struck a deal with Woolworths which had committed to a 12-year lease on the store.
Gibbons said Herne Bay didn't have a supermarket.
At the time the resource consent was granted, Matt Grainger, Countdown acting property general manager, said more people were living in Herne Bay which was good news for the store.
"The area has seen good growth over the last few years, with an increasing number of new apartment buildings and commercial development. We've also seen a shift in how our customers are shopping, with many in urban areas moving towards smaller, more frequent shops, and easy-eating/ quick to prepare meal options," he said then.
"These changes to the Herne Bay area, and the way customers are now shopping, have been a key influence on the design and range we will be offering with this new Metro store," he said.