Whitianga restaurant and cafe ready to reopen

5:00 AM Saturday July 25, 2015 Colin Taylor

Elevated view of 20 The Esplanade, Whitianga, previously occupied by the On Fire Café.

A building housing a purpose-built restaurant and cafe in a prominent location in the coastal resort town of Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula has been placed on the market giving a new owner the option of reopening the business.

“Previously the On Fire Cafe, this property arguably occupies one of the best sites in Whitianga,” says Bev Calder of Bayleys Whitianga, who with colleague Sheree Henderson, is marketing the land and buildings at 20 The Esplanade for sale by auction on August 12.

“This is the only waterfront restaurant building facing Buffalo Beach,” Calder says. “It’s on a prominent 868 sq m corner site in the prime tourist area of Whitianga which is one of New Zealand most popular summer holiday destinations

Built in 2010, the cedar and concrete building comprises of 240 sq m on the ground floor fitted out as a restaurant, with six car parks, and upstairs a 270 sq m apartment, built on a 868 sq m section.

Calder says the property is ideally located for an astute owner-operator or investor.

“The property is close to the waterfront with the picturesque water and palm trees providing a stunning backdrop in an area that is popular with locals and visitors. It is also situated in the central township, which is due to undergo an extensive upgrade, and is close to one of the area’s newest residential developments, Whitianga Waterways.

“This is a canal development that enables owners to berth their boat at a private jetty, only metres from the front door, yet also accessible to the township and all of its attractions and amenities,” Calder says.

A planned upgrade of Whitianga town centre is expected to further enhance the region and the Thames Coromandel District Council setting aside $3.1 million over the next five years for the project. 

The development will see the town centre adopt a navigational theme, paying homage to explorers Kupe and Captain James Cook. The town's main retail street, Albert St, will also link to The Esplanade. 

The upgrade will further enhance the township and the immediate area around the property, linking The Esplanade and the surrounding streets to create an integrated town centre.

20 The Esplanade, Whitianga - interior.jpg

Interior view of 20 The Esplanade, Whitianga, previously occupied by the On Fire Café.

The development is due to be completed in 2019 to coincide with commemorations marking 250 years since captain Cook landed at Mercury Bay.

“A new owner could take over this prime location and the built-for-purpose restaurant which has an already established clientele,” Calder says.

“This is a one-of-a-kind property in a highly desirable area that receives a high amount of foot traffic and features magnificent ocean views making it the ultimate local dining location.

“An experienced hospitality operator could do very well by capitalising on these opportunities,” she says noting that the property has a current liquor licence.

Designed in a relaxed beach style, the building has a restaurant area with capacity and seating for 120 customers, bar, kitchen, and bathrooms. A storage shed is located outside. The dwelling upstairs has a separate entrance and features four bedrooms, two bathrooms, large living area, and deck with unobstructed views of Mercury Bay.

20 The Esplanade, Whitianga - balcony view.jpg

View from balcony at 20 The Esplanade, Whitianga. 

An extensive list of chattels is included in the sale including, tables and seating, cooking appliances, pizza oven, fridges, freezers, dishes, cutlery and glassware, security cameras and monitors, spit barbecue and a stereo system.

“All of the hard work has already been done. This is an opportunity for a new owner to re-open a restaurant at the property, with a large number of the specialty chattels already in place,” said says Calder.

“A new owner could also consider including a hiring aspect to business, for celebrations and corporate events to maximise profitability given that the size and location of the property makes it an ideal function venue,” she says.

For more information on this property visit: