Business, Community

New restaurant ready for lift off

Steve Badham has big plans for his new restaurant and café. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

An aviation-themed restaurant that faced a few turbulent few years has been bought by new owners.

The former Argosy Restaurant building in Woodbourne will become The Runway and feature an aviation-themed café and a separate restaurant open in the evening.

New owners Steve Badham and partner Lisa Stove hope to open the doors to the new-look business in October.

“I’m moderately excited but a bit anxious too. I love to cook and many of my clients are in the hospitality industry, but I’ve never run a restaurant before.

“I’ve driven past the building every week for 20 years going to and from Nelson.

“I never thought I’d own it,” he says.

The businessman who runs his own commercial IT solutions company says the restaurant will feature mainly Indian and European cuisine.

He would also like to make the most of the Argosy ZK-SAE, owned by Paul Davidson, which sits next door.

“Later on, we intend to landscape a garden area under the plane for outside dining.

“It would be good to make it more of a feature,” he says.

The Argosy ZK-SAE, once owned by Safe Air, carried both travellers and freight.

It hit headlines all over the world in 1978 after two pilots reported they were followed by unidentified flying objects as they flew of the Kaikoura coast.

Steve says while the café and small convenience store he hopes to install alongside would take on an aviation theme, the newly renovated restaurant would not.

“It will have an ancient temple theme and will feature art and antique furniture.

“This may well be for sale, but I’m still trying to piece it all together at this point and am not ruling anything out at this stage.”

The former boat builder has used his skills to do a lot of the renovation work himself, including the new curved counters.

“I want every car that goes past to soon have a reason to stop and come in,” he says.

“I always swore I’d never want to go into a kitchen, but I have a passion for food and couldn’t let the opportunity pass.”

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