Dining in the fringe
One of Auckland’s city fringe suburbs, famous first for animated comedy series ‘Bro Town’, is about to get tongues wagging again with a delicious new dining destination.
The precinct, called simply Morningside and pegged to officially open mid-November, includes a local tavern, cider bar, dessert bar, community-minded cafe, various food hotspots, media and tech businesses, a bridal atelier and a sprawling 450-sqm glasshouse events space lined with olives and 8-metre high oak trees growing within it.
Morningside is the brainchild of a group of Auckland locals with a collective nous in hospitality and retail management as well as creating and engineering beautiful multi-use spaces and brilliant businesses. The team have all played a role in shaping some of Auckland’s most frequented spaces and places and are hoping to do the same with the Morningside site.
“Morningside’s time has come. The place will emerge and change in a way that is sustainable, so our vision is not so much an ideal finished state, but a collective that evolves with the changing landscape,” says co-owner Nat Cheshire.
Local for-good business Crave café already making a name for itself in the suburb with lines out the door were first on the list of tenants with a second café outpost ‘KIND’ taking the corner occupancy.
The next sign-up was Miann, responsible for doling out some of the most delicious pastries Auckland has seen, and craving-inspired food alley tenants Electric Chicken (formerly a pop up in Mercury Plaza), Bo’s Dumplings (spawn of Top Café off K’ Rd) and a local cider maker who will produce ‘Morningcider’ for punters alongside a brick-clad 260sqm family tavern that anchors the precinct.
The result is a critical mass of deliciousness that can service a capacity inside and out of 700 – but not so much that you feel you have to change out of your leggings or put your town shoes on.
At the eastern end is an upstairs collective of businesses, including a bridal atelier from Juliette Hogan, media group The Spinoff and tech plays Parkable and Translate Digital that enjoy sprawling open plan spaces with shared amenities.
“Nobody is fancy. They’re just really, really good,” says Nat.
Perhaps the most striking of the spaces is the 450sqm glasshouse to be enjoyed by community ventures and gatherings, market days and celebrations. With a 12-metre high ceiling, the all-weather venue has a Mediterranean feel with space for 400 standing or 250 seated.
Four kilometres south-west of the city centre, the suburb “Morningside” comes from a farm estate that was subdivided in 1865 for housing lots. Made NZ-famous by local animated TV show Bro’Town, Morningside resides in a landlocked light industrial zone that flanks a functional train station, Eden Park and a sea of villas.
A complete transformation of what was once an old drapes factory on McDonald Street, Morningside is set to open its curtains on November 19.