Christchurch-based hospitality operator Daniel Taiaroa wasn’t about to let border closures keep him from securing a prime downtown Queenstown spot for his new restaurant and bar.

Co-owner of Whakatipu Brewco Ltd, Daniel and his brother, Ricki, invested substantially into a major transformation of the long-time Thai Siam restaurant on the corner of Beach Street and Cow Lane, which opened recently.

Their new Whakatipu Brewing restaurant and bar is perfectly positioned to capture late evening sun, with 60 seats inside and a further 60 to expand around the corner into Cow Lane, on extended decking.

Daniel Taiaroa says their landlord is Trojan Holdings and the company has been very supportive.

It’s not been the cruisiest of starts with the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s reconstruction and redevelopment of Beach Street fully underway, on top of yet another lockdown affecting the Queenstown market. However, Daniel says they’re in for the long-term and they’re happy to wait for the street redevelopment into a pedestrian-only mall to be completed, hopefully by early next year.

“We can’t start building our decking around the outside and into Cow Lane until the council street works are completed and they’ve been held up due to the lockdown effects,” says Daniel.

“We’d have loved to have that ready with our planters and umbrellas so customers can enjoy those long summer twilight Queenstown evenings.”

Their only outdoor table frontage has now become something of a thoroughfare for passers-by. “It’s not super functional at the moment, but we bought it for the long-term, its potential. It’s a prime location and one that has been primarily underutilised,” he says. Once the street works are all done it’ll be a really nice spot.” Daniel says their landlord is Trojan Holdings and the company has been very supportive.

Whakatipu Brewco has completely stripped out the inside of the old Thai Siam venue, modernising the interiors and installing full bi-folding doors opening out onto both the Beach Street and Cow Lane entrances. New wooden floors and cosy low seating add a touch of class to the new modern, contemporary interiors, created by Auckland commercial interior designer Jess Brewer.

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