Covid challenges sparked a "long and arduous journey" for Napier hospitality identities Neil Barber and Craig Hay.
But things are looking up as the last of their four hospitality businesses - Emporium Eatery & Bar - has reopened and they're "delighted" to be welcoming guests in.
"I doubt we've seen the last of its [Covid] challenges," Barber said.
"The Hotel Emporium had become a key part of the Napier community and way of life, so not opening was never an option."
With no international visitors or students, "the market and team look very different for this time of year" so there have been changes to the service.
It will be opening from 4pm until late Wednesday through Friday, from 7am on Saturdays, and from 7am until 3pm on Sundays.
General manager Rob Poole said the team wanted "to sincerely thank everyone" for their patience and support over the past seven months.
He said they were always intending on opening in spring or summer due to the uncertainty of Covid-19 alert levels around the country over winter.
"We were quietly planning what we wanted to do but because of the uncertainty [opening earlier] it wasn't viable."
There are about 25 staff including existing staff, new staff and staff who were brought back after previously being let go, he said.
They are also looking for more kitchen and bar staff, about another three to four people, including two senior roles, in the kitchen and six in the front of house.
On the seaside of Emporium in an old loading zone, a parklet is nearing completion, hopefully opening this weekend.
Hay said it was a project they have been working on with Napier City Council as part of its strategy to enhance outdoor amenities for the past two years in the planning and approval process.
"For Emporium's guests it will extend the amount of outdoor seating and provide an attractive space to while away a couple of hours over a bite to eat and drink on a sunny Napier day."