New look MSA ready to open

Checking out the new restaurant and bar area are (from left) Ashburton Club & MSA trustees Manny Sim and Shane Calder, committee members Maxine Hooper and Keith Drummond, and club president Gary Fransen.

The finishing touches are being carried out on the new look Ashburton Club & MSA and a from June 22.

The rebuild and refurbishment project has been handed over to the club by main contractor Bradfords and Ashburton District Council has signed off on it.

MSA president Gary Fransen said the club could not wait to show off the multi-million-dollar revamp to members and to the public.

He said the redevelopment was a huge investment by the club and had first been discussed five years ago.

A lot of people on different committees had been involved.

There had been delays and interruptions because of covid, but Bradfords had done a great job.

what has been achieved and we know people are going to be impressed.”

Mr Fransen said the aim of the upgrade was to make the club a social hub for Ashburton and a welcoming place for everyone.

The new restaurant is called Noble 600, which harks back to the days of prohibition and refers to the number of citizens of the district fortunate enough to be club members when the town went dry.

The restaurant and cafe area is light, stylish and modern and can be accessed from either Burnett or Havelock streets.

The restaurant can seat 98 and the adjacent Burnett Room a further 40 for private functions.

There are two other function rooms on the ground floor and another upstairs. Also, upstairs is the relocated manager’s office and snooker room.

MSA trustee Shane Calder said the new look MSA was fit for purpose, family-friendly and would meet the needs of the club for the next 50 years.

A new executive chef from Peru was in the kitchen and a restaurant manager and other staff had been employed.

An exciting menu, featuring popular standard fare and new items, would be offered, he said.

It is almost two years since the back half of the MSA on Burnett Street was demolished.

No date has yet been set for an official opening.

-By Mick Jensen