Rose among reg­u­la­tion thorns

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

Bruce Simp­son

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Sweet Rose Espresso’s Re­becca Woods and Vasha Spirig are en­joy­ing serv­ing evening meals.

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