The changes continue in Eat Streat, with a new dining option set to add more vibrancy to the popular precinct and create more than a dozen jobs with it.

Atticus Finch will open there in September, taking the spot that's been occupied by Arawa Fine Wines for the past six decades.

With shared plates, a by-the-glass wine menu, craft beers and cocktails, it aims to fill the gap between restaurant and bars offering an informal casual environment in which to eat and socialise, its owners say.

It's the latest in the changing face of Rotorua's central business district (CBD) with the recent closure of the Belgian Bar in Arawa St, and the impending exit of Blezard Hair and Beauty from Eat Streat.


Atticus Finch's owners - sisters Cherry Te Kiri and Kay Thompson - are familiar faces, having established the popular Lime Caffeteria more than a decade ago, which they've since sold.

Mrs Te Kiri said they were initially reluctant to set up in Eat Streat, but soon realised that was where the action was.

"We looked at a lot of sites. Initially we were not that keen on Eat Streat as we didn't want to conform, but in the end we loved the al fresco dining and the great atmosphere."

They said their experience with Lime had given them a good insight into starting from scratch.

"Hopefully we are older and wiser. We think we know what people want."

She said they expected to employ about 16 people.

The food would be "modern, contemporary" food that didn't have to follow the conventional dining times and styles.

The reasoning behind the name, from Harper Lee's novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, was "a long and convoluted story", Mrs Te Kiri added. However, she said they wanted something that didn't involve food - being in Eat Streat she felt that was a given - that had an element of mystery.


Other changes just announced in the CBD include Salon St Bruno and Pilates Focus moving into the old Westpac building.