Investors sing station’s praises

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Work on restaurant to begin soon

The announcement that Cobb & Co will return to Dunedin early next year has been met with excitement among families and businesses in the city, backers say.
Cobb & Co Dunedin general manager Ange Copson said the feedback from the community had been ‘‘amazing’’, with many people coming forward to offer their support.
Founded in Dunedin 155 years ago, the Cobb & Co brand was steeped in history, making it a perfect fit for its new home at Dunedin Railway Station, Mrs Copson said.
‘‘For us, Cobb & Co restaurant is about connecting families to families, where you are sharing a meal, laughter and fun around a dining table,’’ Mrs Copson said.
‘‘And what better place to do that than at Dunedin Railway Station? There has been a resurgence in energy in the area around the station in recent years, and we think we will be able to contribute to that.’’
This week, Dunedin Cobb & Co representatives welcomed a visit from national Cobb & Co group executives for a look around the north-end of the railway station, which will host the family restaurant and saloon.
Tauranga-based Cobb & Co Group owner Ben Gower said bringing the brand to the station was fitting for the city’s history.
‘‘We looked at a number of locations for the restaurant, and we are very pleased to be based at the station,’’ he said. ‘‘It is a wonderful space. We don’t have to create an atmosphere here, it already exists.’’
Cobb & Co chief operating officer Nathan Bonney said the railway station was an iconic New Zealand building and it was ‘‘fantastic’’ to have the restaurant based there.
The new Cobb & Co Dunedin restaurant will be the eighth to be reopened in New Zealand, and will be run by Dunedin company Playground Pals, which comprises three local couples Ange and Graham Copson, Adrienne and Chris Roy, and Christine and Craig Strathern.
‘‘We are proud Dunedinites and we are very proud of Dunedin Railway Station,’’ Mrs Copson said.
Now that the lease had been signed with Dunedin City Council, which owns the station, plans for the restaurant are going through the consent process.
It was estimated that the project would cost about $1 million to complete.
It was hoped work would begin in November and the restaurant would be ready to open in late February or early March. The company was working closely with Heritage New Zealand, to ensure its preparations were sympathetic with the historic nature of the building.
‘‘We are respectful that the station is bigger than our brand, and we are grateful to be here,’’ Mrs Copson said.
Mrs Strathern said the Cobb & Co Dunedin owners were committed to employing local people and would be creating 40 jobs.