Rumours: Kennedy Street Kingston

by The Editor

04 April – Update:
Following the move of The Book Grocer into the old Bellissima site (and a fine new venue it is) movement on the corner is picking up pace.

Horizon Real Estate (which occupied the corner site) has also gone, so all three leases – including Kingston Florist – are vacant, and yesterday the tradies moved in.

So, what’s in store for Kennedy Street? A Belluci’s? A Cream? The most pressing rumour concerns a venue similar to Urban Pantry on The Greens in Manuka.

If you’ve got a better idea, through it in the comments.

13 March 2012 – Update: It looks as though Soc & company have secured the site of The Book Grocer, with signs advertising a Moving Sale appearing over the weekend. In other news, Saffronis almost ready to go. There are tables, chairs, boxes of glassware and a sign out the front advertising Saffron Restaurant (just in case you thought it may be a bowling alley).

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31 January 2012 –Well, the rejuvenation of Kennedy St on the south side of the Kingston shops continues unabated. The opening two years ago of The Kennedy Room provided a spark following the slow slide towards closure of B Bar and Lot 33. With their demise, the disappearance of Ganter’s Fabric Salon down near Portia’s, and the closure of the Kingston Butchery, a number of vacant sites appeared on the strip. What should the locals expect?

The replacement of the former B Bar site by Crust Pizza meant yet-another-pizza-joint, given the 100m proximity of Pizza Arte, Figaro, La Rustica, La Dolce Vita, La Capana, L’Unico (noticing a pattern?) and, of course, Pizza Hut all offered various standards of the Friday night favourite. Regardless, their bright fitout contributes to a busy footpath.

Contrastingly, the impending arrival of Saffron’s version of Lebanese cuisine into the old Lot 33 site makes for a refreshing shot in the arm for Kingston cuisine. Whether or not two versions of the same restaurant can survive in close proximity – the other being in Manuka – remains to be seen. Maybe they should be sure to have mankoushe on the menu. Expect Saffron II to throw open the doors late in February or early in March.

China Plate (previously in residence on Northbourne Avenue in the site currently occupied by Soju Girl) will be tested against the seemingly evergreen Portia’s Place. In the old Ganter’s site, the hoardings for the new venue have been up for a couple of months now, with very few clues as to what is happening inside. Perhaps the next couple of months will reveal all.

The Kingston Butcher had been empty for about six months, but, shortly before Christmas, works began in earnest with a series of small rooms suggesting anything other than a restaurant was going into the site. What we have now is Trisensa, describing itself as an ‘oriental luxury spa’. We were intrigued enough to give it a go ourselves, so you can expect a review very soon.

Finally, the next big move looks like being a takeover of the southwest by Soc Kochinos (and Co), who, fresh on the back of opening Public in Manuka, has been spotted on wandering the corner and pointing at things. The florist has already departed, allegedly taking (or making?) an offer he couldn’t refuse to vacate the premises. The BookGrocer and Horizon Real Estate are still trading, so who knows how long before the entire collection of sites get turned into a single restaurant and/or bar.

All in all this activity makes for exciting times in Kingston. We’re also keen to find out what’s happening over in New Acton, as Nishi apartments near completion and reconstruction from last year’s fire continues. Expect something from us soon.