Major renovation for inner harbour hospo hot spot

Latest upgrade to enhance thriving waterfront precinct

Eastland Port owns and manages a swathe of properties lining the inner harbour. As landlords, they’re working collaboratively with tenants to continue expanding and upgrading this vibrant hospitality district.

“The inner harbour is part of a working port, as well as being a community destination, which gives it a unique maritime atmosphere,” says Eastland Port commercial manager Hayden Green.

“We’re partnering with our tenants to continue enhancing the vibrancy of the area. As part of this long-term strategy, we’ve just started work on a major makeover for the Lone Star restaurant.”

The new-look Lone Star will have a conservatory extension out towards the river, replacing the existing sail-shade canopy.

“This is one of the best waterfront locations in New Zealand, so we want to maximise the building and set it up for the future,” adds Eastland Port property manager James Jenkins.

The extensive renovation includes the new extension, which will feature an opening louvre roof; kitchen and bathroom upgrades; as well as some interior cosmetic upgrades.

Work was completed at the end of last year to strengthen the building. The renovation, designed by architect Dan King from Tairāwhiti’s Architects 44, will make the space modern and inviting.

“The wharfside building, which houses The Wharf Bar and Grill at one end and Lone Star at the other, used to be an old wharf shed,” says Mr Jenkins.

“It was built in 1929 – ships berthed there and cargo would be unloaded directly from the boats.

“We really wanted to keep the original character of the building and Dan King at Architects 44 has done a great job.”

“This extension will serve as a multi-purpose space for Lone Star,” says Mr King. “It will offer another arrow to their quiver in terms of being able to cater to different user requirements.

“It will be in keeping with the materials, detailing and proportions of the original wharf building. Large expanses of glass will maximise the views of the harbour and ensure the space is light and inviting.

“The material palette will be simple, based on solid exposed timbers and a charcoal and white colour scheme.”

Old wood from Eastland Port is being repurposed to make furniture.

It will take around four months for local contractors D. Stevens to build the extension, with work now underway. This is being done in stages to allow the restaurant to stay open throughout.

Lone Star owner Brendan Hiini said he was looking forward to the end result.

“We’ve been a tenant of Eastland Port for almost 18 years and have always had a good relationship,” Mr Hiini says.

“We’re a popular destination for locals and visitors alike and we’re sure the new renos will appeal to all. The design is modern and sleek and maximises the fantastic waterfront location.”

PHOTO: A natural palette and plenty of light feature in Lone Star’s new interior.