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Construction began in September to remodel the north Dunedin restaurant, which has substantially increased the size of the dining area. It also involved expansion of the rest of the building, including kitchen and storage areas.
While there was disruption to both customers and staff, franchise owners Justine and Eterei Stonelake wanted to keep the restaurant open during the redevelopment, to protect jobs. It had probably doubled the footprint of the restaurant, Mr Stonelake said.
The dining room had gone from seating about 20 to more than 80 and the black seats were interspersed with seating in the Otago colours of blue and yellow. The Otago theme continued with large images of a capping parade, Larnach Castle, a Highlanders game and the University of Otago.
It was about the third restaurant in New Zealand to get a new service platform, which included a new ordering system.
Before the redevelopment, it was known as a student restaurant and while it would still be known as a popular haunt for students, there were increasing numbers of families patronising it, he said. More staff were likely to be employed as a result of sales expectations. Redevelopment was planned for the George St restaurant next year.