Regent Cafe adds lustre to Broadway
The Regent cafe and bar is open for business.
The Regent on Broadway welcomes capacity audiences to its productions but sometimes there’s a problem with congestion in the foyer. In opening up its CentrePort and Mezzanine Bars, the Regent has been able to spread audience numbers attending local and visiting shows.
However, in acknowledging an occasional problem, Regent Manager Charles Forbes and its board have thought creatively. When the shop next to the theatre became available, the Regent negotiated with Palmerston North City Council to use the space.
‘‘The space’’ has become the intimate and attractive cafe and bar which was completed this month and open in time for the 50th Manawatu Jazz Festival this weekend.
The cafe, with entrances on to Broadway and the Regent foyer, provides an ideal opportunity for people to socialise prior to a show or enjoy refreshments at interval.
Staffed by the Friends of the Regent, it will be open an hour before major performances offering a choice of wine, beer and snacks.
‘‘The cafe, yet to be named, has stools so people can come and sit and socialise before attending a production in the theatre,’’ Charles says.
‘‘Located alongside the entrance to the Regent, it allows a greater spread of people attending a show.’’
Charles has long believed that many theatre-goers treat a night out as an event rather than just turning up for a performance. The event could be dinner out or socialising with friends before experiencing the magic of what the Regent offers.
‘‘Our cafe adds to that mix of making a night out a special occasion,’’ Charles explains.
The Regent has targeted the milestone of the jazz festival as the moment when the cafe is officially opened. The cafe joins other venues around Palmerston North this weekend to celebrate the festival with its own jazz musicians.
The Broadway Radiology cafe scene, launched in 2010, has become an integral part of the festival and enables local and visiting jazz groups to provide free entertainment for people at a number of locations around the city.
More than 100 musicians are playing 37 gigs in 19 venues and the Regent cafe is one of them.
It will be open from 8am-3pm this Saturday and Charles invites people to enjoy the hospitality of the cafe and listen to some superb music before the Jazz Gala event in the theatre that night.