After working in bars in Europe and New Zealand, Tony Sundman is ready to open his own.
Whanganui's newest bar, Porridge Watson, opens this weekend and is named after an "infamous character" Sundman met while travelling.
In keeping true to the bar's community centred aspirations, crowd funding has played a big role in getting Porridge Watson up and running.
Sundman set up "The Hundred Club" and called for 100 people to pledge $100 which went toward installing beer taps.
About 90 people have signed up to date, and will get their name or pseudonym inscribed on the "Friends of Porridge Board" inside the bar, and receive a brass porridge spoon key ring designed by Whanganui artist Su Keates.
The spoon allows for $1 off every drink purchased over the next year.
Sundman said that allowed him to not have to sign up with one of the big breweries.
"I think avoiding the corporate buy-in has been the biggest thing for me," he said.
Along with a variety of beer and wine, Sundman has also put a significant focus on non-alcohol options.
A few snacks are on the menu which will be expanded over time.
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A "soft opening" was held for the bar last weekend with some minor changes being made from the feedback received.
Sundman said he'll continue to be open to ideas from the community and wants to create a space for everyone to enjoy.
"I envisage Porridge as an after-work drinks vibe on a Friday, it's obviously not a restaurant, so come here for a few drinks then go somewhere else for a meal and maybe Lucky for some live music later on.
"I want to create an option or vibe where you can go out to multiple places, and I think the growing population of Whanganui and the younger crowd it's important to have something in place."
The bar at 30 Drews Ave features several high top and long tables, sections of couch-style seating, and an outdoor seating area. An arcade machine, foosball table, and shuffleboard can also be found inside.
Opening hours for Porridge Watson are 3pm to midnight on Fridays and midday to midnight on Saturdays.
"Next year once I'm a bit more settled I'll be looking to open more, but I'm open to community groups or organisations using the place," Sundman said.
"I'm looking forward to the summer, I know it's going to be busy and it's good to be opening now before it gets too crazy."
The grand opening for Porridge Watson is on Saturday, November 30.