Hundreds turned out over the weekend for the opening of a new eatery and bar in Te Awamutu.
Storyteller – a place to tell stories and leave with more – is the town's freshest spot to grab a drink and a bite to eat.
Husband and wife duo Kane and Bridie Osborne took on the project five months ago. It is located at 221 Mahoe St, formerly Cosana.
"I was blown away by the number of people who came along over the weekend, it's all been so overwhelming," says Bridie.
It officially opened on Friday, January 15 but on the night before they hosted a soft launch for friends, family and tradespeople who had worked on the renovations.
"It was nice to showcase the eatery and the staff – by the end of the night I had felt like we'd done our homework well and that we have the right team who are behind our vision," says Bridie.
The menu – spanning across breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert - takes typical bar food to a new level.
Amongst the more than 30 options, dishes include crispy pork belly, eggs Benedict, crab sliders, karaage fried chicken, mushroom dumplings, a venison burger, scotch fillet, good old fish and chips and a brûlée lemon tart, a chocolate pots de crème and a cheesecake to satisfy those sweet cravings.
"I wanted to feature a bit of seafood because that's my story to tell – I love seafood, it's my favourite. My husband is a hunter and so that's why we have the venison burger on there. I really wanted touches of food that we could tell stories about," says Bridie.
Head chef Amanda Pariss has taken on the menu that was designed by consultant chef Brooke Rako.
They also have an extensive range of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails and they offer coffee.
Bridie, whose parents opened and operated the Redoubt Bar and Eatery for 18 years, explains the name Storyteller was inspired by her own family.
"I come from a long line in my family of storytellers, we call each other storytellers. We always come together and sit around the table drinking nice wine, eating nice food and telling stories," says Bridie.
"We took that idea and thought well, there's no better place than a bar to do that as well."
Fitting to the name in one corner of the premises is a grand bookshelf filled with novels and encyclopedias – available for diners to read at their leisure.
Structurally they didn't change much in the space from when it was Cosana, mostly just a fresh coat of paint, some wallpapering, new furniture and new frontage.
Luxe Designer Homes, Phase Electrical and Dean Horne Painters all worked on the space to get it ready.