Wind and rain did not dampen the welcoming ceremony for a Castlecliff community cafe last Saturday.

Citadel Cafe owner Charlotte Melser says the event went ahead, thanks to lots of local support.

"Even with a bit of wind and rain, it was a huge success. At its peak, I think there were 250 people there.

"The church next door, Clifflife Church, provided most of the meat for the barbecue, Matai St Gardens provided us with the fruit and vegetables. It was a real feast."


Ms Melser is thankful to be part of what she believes is a revival in the beachside community.

"Castlecliff has gone through a few transitions. It's certainly been in a lull, in regard to the stigma that's attached to it.

"But we think now it's really picking up momentum.

"This is our community, and we believe enough in it to do what we're doing.

"The more I get into this project, the less risk I feel is involved. With the amount of support we receive, I don't see how we can fail."

Ms Melser hopes the cafe will have the best burgers in town with such delicacies as a twice-cooked pork belly with apple and pineapple sauce, crispy crackling and gravy burger.

The cafe will partner with Choice Bro brewery to offer craft beers like a raspberry and peanut butter IPA.

"It's awesome; it's got really subtle notes," she said.
For Ms Melser, the priority is quality service, so she's tight lipped about the official opening date.

"We want to avoid the opening week rush. We have some people who have never done hospitality work before, so there's going to be a week of training to get them up to scratch."

The doors will open in early December.