Exciting plans for Rendezvous Restaurant
It’s taken just over a million kilometres for Palmerston North man Glen Vivian to realise his dream job.
For more than three years Glen commuted 23,000 kilometres to work and back, creating some sort of world record. He would walk out his door in Palmerston North one day and into the offices of Pie Street Advertising in Johannesburg 36 hours later.
For three years Glen was the business brains behind the European award-winning agency which juggled global accounts alongside important African clients. Glen, an accountant, attended board meetings, strategy sessions and client pitches in South Africa for a fortnight and then came home for another two weeks to number crunch. By 2007 he was worn out. ‘‘I was exhilarated about the work, however, I was a walking zombie because of the permanent jetlag,’’ he said. ‘‘I missed my family growing up and, in the end, I owed it to them to stay here.’’
Glen’s decision was Manawatu’s gain. Today he’s celebrating the first anniversary of owning the very popular Rendezvous Restaurant in Summerhill and has some exciting plans for further development in the new year.
Just as he was considering his future eight years ago, the Esplanade Cafe´ was advertised for sale and Glen saw the potential of taking it to a new level.
‘‘During my university years I was a waiter in three or four restaurants in Johannesburg. I worked at some top cafes with top chefs and loved the buzz,’’ he says. ‘‘Then when I qualified as an accountant, I was financial director for a number of businesses including a steak house.’’
Glen developed a passion for food, fun and finance at an early age and the Esplanade Cafe´ occurred at exactly the right time. In the eight years he owned it, Glen guided the cafe through the recession years and rebranded it as a place for everyone.
By 2014 he wanted a new challenge and sold the cafe´. He took his commitment for hospitality and fine food to Rendezvous and added fun, friends and festivities.
With his background in advertising, Glen intends to market the name Rendezvous further. Rendezvous is a gathering place and he plans to grow its reputation as a venue where people in Summerhill, Aokautere and throughout Palmerston North city come together to enjoy the best of food, hospitality and entertainment.
‘‘I want people to know that they don’t have to travel to Auckland or Wellington or even into the city to dine and be entertained. They’ll be completely satisfied here,’’ Glen says.
‘‘What makes Rendezvous great is a passionate professional team, the support of top local suppliers and our much valued clientele. I have recently appointed award winning chef, Alberto Pindot to join highly acclaimed head chef, Carissa Winton.’’
Glen is gratified that, in the last year, Rendezvous has received three top places in five categories in the Manawatu Hospitality Awards.
He has some stimulating plans for 2016. They include maintaining and enhancing Rendezvous’ reputation for fine dining, enclosing the outside courtyard to create an inviting al fresco cafe´ and tweaking the bar’s decor to give it that X factor.
‘‘The bar has great bones. I’m now adding a bit of me to the mix to give it a point of difference,’’ he says.
Glen has a great passion for music and he’s locating a grand piano and small stage at one end of the bar so cocktail and easy to listen to music can be played and sung.
‘‘I want Rendezvous to be a place where the best of local musicians can come and showcase their talent,’’ he promises.
Ten years ago Glen travelled across the world to pursue his dream, now he’s achieved it here in Palmerston North without an airline ticket or passport and in walking distance from his home.
Glen Vivian marks his first year as owner of Rendezvous Restaurant.