The owners of Ōrewa restaurant Someplace Else are wishing they were someplace else as construction of Ōrewa Boulevard on Hibiscus Coast Highway decimates their business.
Towards the end of last week the restaurant was left high and dry as digging work prevented pedestrian access and parking. Co-owner Nav Rana says the result was two days with no customers and on the third night they cancelled bookings and closed because there was no safe access.
He says they tried to contact Auckland Transport, which is doing the work.
“Each time we speak to someone new and I have to explain myself all over again,” Nav says. “We are desperate – how are we going to pay our bills? We have 10 staff who rely on wages.”
Nav says the business had just begun to recover from the Covid-19 restrictions when the work on the boulevard, expected to take six months, began.
An AT spokesperson says it has a team working with businesses affected by the works.
“That team has met and spoken with the owners of Someplace Else on several occasions to discuss concerns and provide solutions to mitigate issues created by the works,” the spokesperson says.
“We have taken care to ensure access to Someplace Else has been maintained during its opening hours of 5pm – 11pm. Works cease by 5pm. In the evening, the site outside Someplace Else is cleared so people can visit. We have placed signage in prominent positions on both sides of the road, advising that Someplace Else is “open as usual”. Alternative parking in Empire Road was identified.”
Nav says AT is looking at placing a ramp or mats in front of the business to create safe access.
“We don’t want a customer injuring themselves – safe access is a priority,” he says.
Once that is in place, Nav encourages customers to return.
“Please support us,” he says. “We will only get through this with the help of the community.”