7 December 2018
The owners of a new restaurant in the East Frame see it becoming an integral part of inner-city dwellers’ lives.
Earl, which opens this month near the corner of Lichfield and High Streets on the ground floor of a mixed-use building, overlooks Rauora Park and is at the foot of One Central, an inner city residential development made up of over 900 apartments currently being built.
Restaurateur Tom Newfield knew he wanted to be in the building as soon as he saw the developer’s sign put up on the vacant lot.
“It was three years ago, and actually my last day in Christchurch before heading overseas to work throughout the Middle East & Europe. The location really resonated with me; having the park at the foot of it and knowing there were going to be beautiful green, uninterrupted views and all the pending inner-city residential developments close by.”
Originally from Christchurch, he has worked in hospitality since leaving school and lived in Melbourne for 10 years running bars, cafes and restaurants and owning a coffee shop. He and business partner Sam Campbell opened the industrial-beer hall inspired establishment, Welles Street in 2017 and are excited to be opening a very different offering in the East Frame.
“Earl is housed in a brand-new building, giving it a very different feel to Welles Street. There is a really fun dining element that captures the flavour, energy and relaxed vibe that inspired me during my travels throughout coastal European cities such as Italy and Portugal.
“We see it as bringing the welcoming fine casual dining lifestyle to Christchurch. It’s a friendly, laid back venue that still delivers an around-the-clock sense of occasion.”
Tom is excited to be part of Christchurch’s reinvention.
Whilst there is still a lot of development to be done around here, the potential is huge. There are such different opportunities here; you can carve out your story and path a bit more than in other cities overseas – although you have to work hard and take a long-term view."Restaurateur Tom Newfield
“Whilst there is still a lot of development to be done around here, the potential is huge. There are such different opportunities here; you can carve out your story and path a bit more than in other cities overseas – although you have to work hard and take a long-term view.”
He loves the thought of becoming the ‘local’ for the urban dwellers who take up residence in the new apartments. Earl also sits on Butchers Lane, which will connect the area with a walkway to the city’ new stadium once it is built.
“Just off the corner from the intersection of Lichfield and High Street, This area, to me, is where it is at. Whatever city I am in, I always navigate close to its ‘high street’, as for me, these areas are where the cities heart beats.
The restaurant will seat 65 diners and also includes a large wrap around bar and casual seating for people just wanting drinks and light nibbles. The kitchen will be open and in view of diners, so the chefs are part of scene and can absorb the vibe.
The emerging new hospitality group also have plans for another establishment in the city, a high-rise rooftop bar on the top floor of a 1960s modernist office block on Manchester Street, which is currently undergoing strengthening and preserving and is set to open this time next year.