Cafe by day and bar by night
Palmerston North theatre goers are getting an extra serving of hospitality.
In the past few weeks, the Globe Theatre’s bar has been operating as a cafe by day.
And the Regent on Broadway has fulfilled a long-held dream to move the bar out of the foyer and into the former Munchkins shop next door.
The kitchen, cafe and bar area at the Globe was the final part of its 2014 makeover to be completed.
It has been operating as a bar with the Manawatu¯ Theatre Society providing service in the evenings, and that system would continue, but by day it is Encore Cafe, managed by Toni Kane, with Jacqui Down as barista.
Globe Theatre manager Denise Servante said the idea of leasing the space to a commercial operator had been abandoned in favour of a profit-sharing agreement.
It provided a risk-sharing opportunity up until the end of June 2018 to see whether the business was commercially viable.
Servante said getting the cafe open was a real priority for her, to provide a lively, family-friendly entrance to the theatre building.
The cafe is already drawing customers from among Te Manawa’s visitors, who walk past its terrace doors.
Over at the Regent, theatre manager Charles Forbes said its new bar area provided double benefits. It created a ‘‘lovely space’’ for patrons who wanted to sit down before the show or at interval.
For everyone else, it freed up space in the foyer, making it easier for people to get to the theatre doors and the toilets without having to push through the lines at the bar. ‘‘It’s a more hospitable atmosphere,’’ he said.
Forbes said the idea of using the new bar space as a daytime cafe had been floated, but it could take some lateral thinking to make it a reality.
The bar is run by volunteers, the Friends of the Regent, whose free labour helped pay for the alterations to open up the new bar area and for a range of other equipment for the theatre.
‘‘It would be great to have the space available for the public during the day, but we will need to do some consultation with the Friends about how that could work.’’