A six million-dollar suburban outdoor dining precinct is set to open its doors in Auckland for the first time later this month.
The 2500 sq m retail and dining facility, located in the suburb of Morningside close to Eden Park and Western Springs, has been under construction for most of the year is set to officially open on November 19.
Once open, it will be home to seven food and hospitality vendors including Miann, Kind Cafe, a wedding and functions venue called the Glasshouse, office spaces and a bridal showroom.
"What we have done is brought four buildings that were previously light industrial sewing factories, surrounded by quite a bit of open space which was previously carparking, and built up a building and filled it with food and beverage operators," Morningside precinct designer and developer Nat Cheshire said.
"It's a bit like what we've been doing in City Works Depot, Britomart or Catalina Bay - taking old buildings that were used for something completely different and curating a little mix of people all doing different things but work well together."
The dining precinct is surrounded by a lot of greenery and gardens, with around half of it located in open-air space, Cheshire said.
Cheshire likens the property to a small version of City Works Depot.
"Experiences are one of gardens rather than interiors - it's sort of the opposite of a mall which throws a wall around the edge of a site," he said.
"It's about using food and beverage to create a hub for community building."
Miann, Crave cafe, fried chicken outlet Electric Chicken, Bo's Dumplings and a cider called Morningcuder and a tavern called Morningside Tavern will be housed in Moringside.
Cheshire, who has spent the past decade of his life "fighting against malls", says the plan was always to have just a handful of hospitality vendors.
"The idea is that we hopefully just got the balance right so there's enough to make the whole street the place you might come to."
Popular pastry and dessert bar Miann has opened its third store in Morningside and a separate chocolate factory on the site in September - the first vendor to open.
Scottish-born patissier Brian Campbell, founder and owner of Miann which has two Auckland downtown stores, said moving to the suburbs was something Miann had planned to do for a while.
"Getting into the suburbs you have a bit more scope to reach people who don't want to drive into the city," Campbell said. "And it means we have the space to start doing cool things like making our own chocolate from scratch."
Miann will make 4.5 tonnes of chocolate in that site to supply to its other stores.
The first three months in business in Morningside had been extremely busy, Campbell said.
"The first week we got absolutely smashed with people coming in to check out what it was," he said. "We weren't expecting to be really busy just because of we're kind of tucked around the back of it and a lot of the front of it was covered in construction work. When it's completely open and everything is up and running it can only get better."
Juliette Hogan will open a bridal showroom in the precinct and businesses such as The Spinoff will fill the adjoining office spaces.