Popular downtown eatery opens again

Kelly and Debbie Macvey are thrilled to be open again.

Brush off your leather jacket and slick back your hair because the Retro Kitchen on Burnett Street has opened its doors again.

The 1960’s Kiwiana style restaurant made the decision to close March this year because of the disruption caused by roadworks.

Owner Kelly Macvey said revenue plummeted by 80 percent because of the works.

“The roadworks were meant to be short term but took a lot longer, and it’s not one road, it’s all the roads that are affected.

“Burnett Street was supposed to be six to eight weeks, we have been closed six months” Mr Macvey said.

It was a tough decision to close because the restaurant had only been open a few months and was starting to build a solid client base.

“Until they started the roadworks we were absolutely humming, a lot of the customers are pensioners who like the retro style and they can sit down have a meal for under 20 bucks and they are full.”

Coming to an arrangement with their landlord helped them make the call to close until the road was finished.

“Our landlord has been really good, they have been very accommodating coming to a mutual agreement which was beneficial to both parties.”

The restaurant will initially operate daytime hours including breakfast with a skeleton crew and a few new treats on the menu.

“My wife and I will work here with a couple of casuals, we’ll be doing new desserts like cheesecake and lemon meringue pie and a Christmas menu in December, we will also host functions and birthday parties.”

In hindsight Mr Macvey thinks they made the right decision to close; he and wife Debbie also run the Riverside food bar.

“It was a brilliant decision, we made the right call to close down, we were fortunate enough to have another business to keep us going and I got a full time job driving a bread truck.”

Fans of the restaurant have been hanging out for the restaurant to reopen it’s doors.

“I have been hassled to reopen over the last five months non stop.

“The best advertising I have had is being closed, the other day 40 people came to the door when I was here asking when I am opening.”

Now that he is back Mr Macvey is pleased with how Burnett Street looks

“Change has got to be good, the town is going to look better.”

By Daniel Tobin