Eatery example of transport strategy

5:00 AM Saturday September 3, 2016 True Commercial

Devon on the Wharf provides ferry passengers with a gateway to Devonport.

Following months of anticipation, “Devon on the Wharf” has opened in the refurbished Northern Pavilion on Devonport Wharf.

Opening out on to the boardwalk, this eatery provides ferry passengers a connection with Marine Square and a gateway to the Devonport village.

It’s the pride and joy of Auckland restaurateurs Alex Isik and Nigar Ivgen, the brains trust behind the Deco Eatery in Titirangi and Bodrum Kitchen in New Lynn.

“Nigar and I began our journey in hospitality when we acquired Zigana Espresso in Devonport years ago,” Alex Isik said.

“We are loving reconnecting with the Devonport community and we’re really proud of Devon on the Wharf. It is a beautiful space.”

But Devon on the Wharf is also the first example of Auckland Transport’s Metro retail strategy in action.

AT worked with commercial property company JLL to develop a vision for the establishment, drawing inspiration from Manly Wharf in Sydney, another transport wharf enhanced by strategic use of retail.

JLL retail specialist Chloe Brooks says the restaurant fit-out is top class.

“The colour scheme takes its inspiration from the ocean views, with a crisp white interior with blue and green accents throughout. They’ve used whitewashed wood, cane furniture and plenty of light and air to give the space a bright and breezy feel. Aucklanders will really appreciate this as a new and interesting all-day dining destination,” says Brooks.

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Auckland Transport hopes city commuters will see the restaurant as a useful place to stop for refreshment.

Chief AT Metro Officer Mark Lambert says Devon on the Wharf is just the beginning of Auckland Transport’s retail strategy for public transport facilities.

“One of the key objectives is to enhance the experience for our customers using public transport (Metro) facilities and attract non-public transport users to Metro facilities.

“To be truly useful to our passengers, we specified that Devon on the Wharf needed to be open bright and early for commuters. So that means coffee will be sold from 5.30am, and the eatery will offer various grab-and-go food options throughout the day. There’s also a cold stone ice cream counter which will no doubt be very popular with summer visitors to Devonport,” Lambert says.

Next on Auckland Transport’s radar is the kiosk at Birkenhead Wharf. Lambert says AT has plans to find an excellent operator who can activate that wharf with a grab-and-go food and beverage outlet.

JLL retail specialist JJ Hong is working with Auckland Transport to find the right tenant.

“There is huge potential to service not only Birkenhead ferry commuters but also locals who enjoy walking in the area and would appreciate a good coffee and food vendor there. The harbour views from Birkenhead wharf are spectacular. Customers will be able to sit outdoors and take it all in.”

Devon on the Wharf is open from September 1, from 5.30am until 11pm, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.