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