Two Westport eateries which closed their doors in recent years will both reopen next month.

Janis and John Lennon have taken a year's lease on the premises at 62 Palmerston Street, formerly Porto Bello Bar & Grill, and hope to reopen as Johnny's around December 20.

Mrs Lennon said the restaurant would focus on evening casual dining with a menu featuring tapas-style portions so people could eat while enjoying a drink but would not have to order a full meal.

She said the business was currently advertising for staff.


While she had been looking at the venture for some time Mrs Lennon said she felt that the timing was now right with a feeling of confidence in the town.

The restaurant would look slightly different on the inside but no major changes had been needed to get it up and running again, she said.

Porto Bello Bar & Grill went into voluntary liquidation in September 2014 with seven full and part-time staff losing their jobs.

Meanwhile at the other end of Palmerston Street Lyn Samartino is working on reopening The Yellow House before the new year.

She said that having had a good break away from running a restaurant since she closed the doors to 243 Palmerston Street in 2012 meant the time was right to reopen.

The restaurant would open for the summer months, closing at the end of March, Ms Samartino said.

Her focus would be on healthy quick food from breakfast through to dinner.

She said the menu would include cold-pressed juices, salmon cakes and other favourites former customers would recognise from the restaurant and her catering business.

Meanwhile she is hard at work sanding and painting inside and out, including a new bright red front door, to get ready to reopen.

Both businesses have applied to the Buller District Council for licences to sell alcohol.

- Westport News