Last night Eli and I had the pleasure of attending the opening night for Christchurch’s latest (and by far greatest!) dining precinct, Stranges Lane.
Strange’s Lane, on the corner of High and Lichfield Streets, is home to Lower 9th Diner, Nucleus, Orleans, Strange & Co and Vespa.
Three venues, Lower 9th Diner, Orleans, and Strange & Co are brought to us by the crew behind Mexico, 1885, Racket, The Britomart Country Club and Orleans in Auckland, but it originally all started in Christchurch with Cartel, a little gem in the currently closed Sol Square. Hopefully Sol Square (which is located across the way from Stranges Lane) will make a triumphant return at some point in the future which will create a fantastic area for dinner and late night antics.
The venues carve out a fabulous little triangle courtyard that is well lit and kept warm with plenty of heaters. Each of the spots has a completely different feel and caters for different tastes but all open up onto the courtyard creating a welcoming atmosphere that feels connected.
Orleans is a replica of the Auckland restaurant and I can see why it has been so successful. The food was delicious – chicken waffles (who would have thought?!) and the Pig Po Boy (pulled pork in a bun with Orleans BBQ sauce) were two of my favourites. The interior has an almost dramatic feel to it with dark features and moody lighting, a mezzanine floor allows diners to keep an eye on proceedings below.
Lower 9th Diner (named after an area hit particularly hard in Hurricane Katrina) is the smallest of the three and will be open from early morning through until late evening. In what I believe is a first for Christchurch it will be a bit of a crab shack, offering Alaskan crab as well as more common diner fare, burgers. The delicious, aptly titled cocktail the ‘Hurricane’ is definitely worth a try.
Strange & Co. is the largest of the three. It has an industrial feel to it that is softened with modern greenery. I loved the upper mezzanine floor that had a cool, circular opening meaning you could spy on those on the ground floor below.
A huge thank you to the gorgeous Tom Newfield, manager extraordinaire, (read about him here) for inviting us to this special opening event.
My photos are REALLY average (a combination of using my iPhone and perhaps taking advantage of the free bar a little too much) but here they are as well as some recent professional shots of the venues via We Built This City.
How cool is it that you can get your shoes shined?! My boots were like brand new!