Cobb& Co­mak­ing Porirua come­back

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Porirua got New Zealand’s first McDon­ald’s and it is in line to get the Welling­ton re­gion’s first re­vamped Cobb & Co, maybe later this year.

The old McDon­ald’s site on the cor­ner of Cob­ham Court would be ideal for the fam­ily res­tau­rant and bring peo­ple out to the city cen­tre, for­mer mayor Nick Leggett said.

‘‘I mar­keted [the McDon­ald’s build­ing] eight years ago and and it’s still va­cant,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s never left my mind.’’ Leggett has started a Face­book page, Bring Cobb & Co back to Porirua, to get peo­ple talk­ing and sup­port the ven­ture.

Leggett said he was one of the kids who was brought up eat­ing at Cobb & Co, which was based across the road from McDon­ald’s in Porirua un­til it closed in 1997.

‘‘I loved the at­mos­phere and the food. There are other good places to eat in the city cen­tre to­day, but there is a mar­ket for a good fam­ily res­tau­rant.’’

He also said this is not about self-pub­lic­ity, but us­ing his lo­cal knowl­edge and con­tacts for the ben­e­fit of Porirua.

Chair­man of the Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce Euon Mur­rell said any­thing that brings peo­ple into the city cen­tre had to be good.

‘‘The clien­tele is here and it could be very suc­cess­ful,’’ he said.

‘‘It will take in­vest­ment and peo­ple need to drive it.

‘‘Nick talked about the space need­ing to be filled when he was mayor, so it’s not a pub­lic­ity stunt.’’

Cobb & Co’s chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer Nathan Bon­ney said Porirua was the first site iden­ti­fied in the Welling­ton re­gion, as part of an am­bi­tious pro­gramme to open 30 restau­rants na­tion­wide.

‘‘We’ll go through a process and it may be opened later this year,’’ he said.

‘‘It de­pends on find­ing the right fran­chisee but we know Cobb & Co is a strong brand and peo­ple love the en­vi­ron­ment to en­joy a meal.’’

Bon­ney said it could cost up to $750,000 to set up in Porirua.

Wai­tan­girua’s Hun­gry Tiki owner Jimmy Isaako said com­pe­ti­tion would ben­e­fit the city.

‘‘It’s good for peo­ple to have more choices of where to eat,’’ he said.

Re­ac­tion on so­cial media was mixed, with some res­i­dents be­liev­ing it was the right time to bring Cobb & Co back, while oth­ers said a mod­ern res­tau­rant was needed.

PHOTO: COBB & CO

We may see Cobb & Co in Porirua be­fore year’s end.

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