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Worth waiting for . . . Crusty Corner Cafe owner Rob Barker waits for his Northeast Valley eatery to be renovated. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A facelift of a Northeast Valley cafe is taking longer than expected but it will be worth the wait, the owner says.

Crusty Corner Cafe owner Rob Barker said the building his cafe was in, on the corner of North Rd and Bank St, had been closed for renovations since December 2016.

He said he closed the cafe after his lease expired so his landlord could get builders to replace some of the rotting structure in the flat above the eatery.

After the cafe closed, Mr Barker investigated relocating his business to an empty shop further up North Rd but he believed the corner site was in a better location so he decided to wait for the renovations to be finished.

“But I didn’t think it was going to be a year and a-half.”

The work was originally expected to take about four months but the repair job was bigger than expected and has included the replacement of the building’s roof.

The cafe has also been renovated, including new windows and door, and the vinyl flooring being lifted so floorboards could be polished.

When the cafe reopened, the food on offer and the level of service would be the same “if not better”.

“I can’t wait to come back.”

Since the cafe closed, people had continually asked him when it would reopen. His usual response had been “in two months” and he hopes it would be able to open soon.

The remaining work for the builders included the removal of the veranda outside the cafe, because it was too low and was regularly hit by heavy traffic, he said.

The wait would be worth it, he said.

“It’s worthwhile going back in because it’s a busy spot.”

The corner shop was originally a butchery, he said.

Mr Barker opened Crusty Corner as a bakery in 1985 and introduced a coffee machine and table and chairs in 1996.

While Mr Barker waits for his business to reopen, he continues to work in his other Dunedin eatery, Alto Cafe, in Mornington.