An “adored” West Auckland building is being brought back to life after new owners took over its restaurant.
Hayz Pincheira and Jess Morris opened The Falls Bistro in Henderson’s Falls Hotel in November last year.
Having purchased the business during lockdown, it has been a bumpy road to opening.
“Henderson adores this place,” Pincheira said.
“As soon as [the community] found out we were coming in and that the doors were going to reopen, we got a whole bunch of positivity coming our way. It was amazing.”
According to Heritage New Zealand, Falls Hotel was listed as a heritage building in October 1997 having been constructed in a Colonial Stripped Georgian style in 1873 by John McLeod.
It was used for accommodation by salesmen and railway workers during the 1920s.
Now owned by Norcross Heritage Trust, it was moved to its current location near Falls Park on Alderman Drive in 1996.
Pincheira and Morris were working during New Zealand’s first level 3 lockdown in Morris’ mobile coffee cart when “crazy” business ideas started being thrown around.
They found out the restaurant inside Falls Hotel was going under and thought it would be an ideal location for a “beautiful restaurant” and place to have high tea.
Finding out the Norcross Heritage Trust owned the building, they put together a proposal, found people to invest and were given the green light to move in.
But by the time Auckland went into its second level 3 lockdown, the pair’s investors all pulled out.
They were back in the mobile coffee cart when a representative of the Trust approached them and said they should ask it to invest.
Once that was approved, the two friends got to work redoing the only part of the building not considered historic - the conservatory.
When they first got keys to the building, “it felt like it hadn’t been nurtured in a while”, Pincheira said.
Morris said: “It just needed love.”
The Falls Bistro is now up and running - with plans to make use of the old bedrooms upstairs for spa treatments in the future.
Other rooms in the building will also be used as a library and a private dining room/meeting area.
Events, such as weddings, can also be held at the venue.
Photo credit: Jo Dawn Photography
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