Rose among regulation thorns
After a failed attempt to open an upmarket restaurant and bar above her cafe in Tokoroa Lorraine Young has had a change of plan.
Young, who spent months unsuccessfully fighting the South Waikato District Council to keep an exposed beam in the restaurant which the council said breached Schedule 1 of Food Hygiene Regulations, has for now decided to put any plans of opening on hold.
Instead she’s shifted her focus to her cafe, Sweet Rose Espresso in Bridge St, which she’s decided to extend the hours of to open three nights a week for evening meals.
‘‘At this stage we are not licensed so there is no alcohol but we are just going to give things a go to see how it goes,’’ she said.
‘‘The menu changes over at 4.30pm and is sort of cafe/eatery food which is a little bit fancy with duck breast and beef cheeks but not too fancy because we are trying to keep everything under $30 for the main meal so that it’s reasonable.’’
‘‘So far we have just kept it in house with friends but they have all loved it,’’ she said.
She said Sweet Rose Espresso will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays until 7.30pm.
‘‘Everyone is thinking we have opened upstairs but it is only the downstairs cafe and the last orders will be at 7.30pm because we have got to start early again the next day,’’ she laughed.
She said staff were learning to cater for evening dining as they went and were enjoying the experience.
‘‘In some ways thank goodness I didn’t open upstairs because when you don’t have trained staff it’s a challenge,’’ she laughed.
‘‘It is fun though and the staff love it. We are having a bit of a laugh.’’
‘‘There are a few things in the kitchen that have to be improved and things out the front but we hope to get it right and we try to be cheery so come and support us,’’ she said.
She said if all goes well she’ll consider applying for a liquor licence and look at splitting the upstairs bar and restaurant and cafe into separate businesses.
‘‘Basically I might try to split the businesses in two which will be better. I might try and go for a licensed cafe/eatery in here and maybe more of a kitchen/bar lounge upstairs,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t know if they will allow me to do it but I will give it a go.’’ I would like to thank the South Waikato News for highlighting the plight of what has become the most widely recognised part of Tokoroa, our airfield tower.
It is somewhat ironic that the South Waikato District Council would consider demolishing this icon just one week before the newspapers carried headlines that tourism has now eclipsed dairy as our number one export earner. The poll conducted on the Neighbourly website showed (at the time this letter was written) that over 85% of respondents were in favour of keeping the tower - proof that the SWDC is woefully out of touch with public opinion. This is very sad, especially in light of the promises made to the community by councillors when they ran for election just over six months ago. Hundreds of messages in support of restoring the tower have now flowed in from around the world with many of the writers signalling their desire and intention to visit the tower personally at some time in the future. Let us hope that this issue serves as a wake-up call to the council who must at all times remember that the district’s assets are not their own personal property, to do with as they please. These assets belong to the ratepayers and residents of the South Waikato and are merely held in trust by the staff and councillors of the SWDC who have responsibility to manage them in accordance with the wishes of the people.
Sweet Rose Espresso’s Rebecca Woods and Vasha Spirig are enjoying serving evening meals.