Where to Eat: Fortieth & Hurstmere

A new market-style eatery has opened in Takapuna

Outdoor dining at Fortieth & Hurstmere. Pitcure / Supplied.

Rewind a few years and Takapuna locals had rather limited choices for eating out. The beachside suburb was not the dining destination it is today.

After the welcome addition of Takapuna Beach Cafe seven years ago, the McKenzies Project (which includes The Commons, Mexico and more) opened in 2012 and two more dining precincts have opened in recent months, while Josh Emett’s Madam Woo is set to arrive in May.

New beachfront property Main Beach Takapuna houses Tokyo Bay, Regatta and Franc’s, while Fortieth & Hurstmere, opened last week by Verve Property Management, is a laneway concept inspired by those in Melbourne, New York and Europe.

The industrial space (think New York's Chelsea Food Market and Auckland's Ponsonby Central) uses reclaimed bricks from the Christchurch earthquake. It was designed by architects McKinney + Windeatt, using shared outdoor seating areas and living walls to create a space that services a number of eateries.

Outdoor dining at Fortieth & Hurstmere. Pitcure / Supplied.

“We wanted to develop a unique environment that gave the impression it had always been there”, says Debi Rowan, managing director of Verve Property Management.

She’s right — the open-air destination slots cleverly into the street front, making it hard to remember that it was formerly a shop — although before its retail stint, the space was a lane.

With a number of similar walkways connecting the main shopping strip to the Anzac St carpark, Takapuna could one day become known as a laneway destination. A mini-Melbourne if you can stretch your imagination quite that far.

Fortieth & Hurstmere is home to the first permanent location of mobile coffee business Kombi Coffee (complete with built-in kombi van, pie-warmer and gelato stand), and second and fourth locations of Dante's Pizzeria and Bird on a Wire respectively.

Dante’s, which has an outlet in Ponsonby Central, has been rated New Zealand’s best pizza and is heading to Italy to compete in the World Pizza Championship in May.

You will also find newcomer El Humero Colombian Grill, a traditional barbecue restaurant, featuring wood-fired and charcoal-grilled meats. Two more vendors are expected to open in the next month.

— Fortieth & Hurstmere, 40 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna.

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