Auckland's first rooftop dining and entertainment precinct located within Westfield Newmarket's $790 million development officially opens to the public today.
The alfresco indoor and outdoor dining terrace on the top level of the Australian shopping mall operator's newly developed "lifestyle centre" is home to 10 restaurants, bars and eateries, including Peruvian concept Inca, and White + Wong's.
Something & Social opens today, from 8.30am for breakfast, while other operators Rockpool Group's The Bavarian, Mediterranean restaurant Bodrum Market, Corner Burger, Island Gelato, Ippudo Ramen and New York Grill, among others, open from 11am.
Rooftop on Broadway is almost 9000sq m, and houses a children's play area and water feature. Event Cinema is scheduled to open in the precinct before Christmas.
To mark the opening, Westfield Newmarket is putting on entertainment and some restaurants will have special offers, including The Bavarian which is giving away free hot dogs to the first 500 people through its doors, and live music.
Scentre Group regional manager Paul Gardner said the group expected the rooftop dining terrace to "amplify" the number of people coming through the centre as it would offer late night dining, up until 1am for some operators.
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Event Cinemas and David Jones would also be drawcards for Westfield Newmarket once they had opened in the next couple of months, he said.
Gardner said the rooftop dining terrace was the first of its kind in New Zealand.
Since the first stage of opening in at the end of August, Westfield Newmarket has had tens of thousands of shoppers through its doors. The centre has had up to 30,000 people through its doors on a single Saturday, he said.
"[Trade] has exceeded our expectations. Our retail partners are telling us the response has been beyond their sales budgets for the first month," Gardner told the Herald.
Arcade bar Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq had also proved popular with shoppers, Gardner said, with 150 people queuing outside its doors on regular Friday and Saturday nights.
Celebrity chef Nic Watt and culinary director Darren Johnson opened their Peruvian-style restaurant Inca in the precinct today. Watt and Johnson have worked together at restaurants Nobu and Roka in London, Huka Lodge, Tokyo's Park Hyatt Hotel, as well as at Sky City's Masu in Auckland CBD.
Inca specialises in ceviche, hand-pressed tacos and South American-fusion cuisine, and employs around 80 staff. The 180sq m eatery seats 110 diners and has an interior that reflects the terracotta, pinks and greens of Peru's Rainbow Mountain.
Asian street food-inspired restaurant White + Wong's, which has locations on Auckland's viaduct and in Queenstown, has opened its third, and largest, venue in Westfield Newmarket's dining terrace.
The large restaurant and in-house bar named Sardine has city views and a handful of private dining areas. It is able to accommodate up to 600 guests seated inside and outside at one time.
White + Wong's Newmarket restaurant will employ 60 fulltime kitchen and front of house staff. The restaurant has a liquor licence until 4am but will accept the last walk-in of the night at 11pm.
Australian hospitality group Rockpool Dining has also brought its popular restaurant The Bavarian to Westfield Newmarket.
The family restaurant specialises in large serving sizes and meat platters and has 300 seats for inside dining and 100 outside, and on Sunday's offers free dining for children under the age of 12.
Rockpool, owned by private equity firm Quadrant, owns and operates 82 restaurants throughout Australia under 15 restaurants brands, including The Bavarian, Beerhaus, Rockpool Bar & Grill and Spice Temple.
The dining company plans to open up to seven restaurants in New Zealand in the next two years and spend approximately $30 million on the expansion.
Twenty new fashion shops opened on the second level of Westfield Newmarket last week, including Sass & Bide, Merchant 1948, Husk, Cue, Gorman, Scarpa, Tigerlily, Swarovski and Aje.
Platypus, Torpedo 7 and Noel Leeming also opened new outlets at the seven-level centre with 2770 carparks, last month.
Auckland's first David Jones department store is set to open in the shopping centre next month.
Scentre Group says Westfield Newmarket is a demonstration of what future shopping malls in New Zealand and Australia would look like, and future upgrades to its existing malls would be modelled on aspects of the centre.