Auckland café to be shipped to Niue to dodge City Rail Link demolition

An Auckland eatery and bar is getting a new lease on life in the Pacific Islands, the colourful café's new location saving it from City Rail Link demolition.  

The Beresford Square venue, behind Karangahape Road, started out as an underground urinal before transforming into a café and underground nightclub.

With the City Rail Link under construction, the venue was facing demolition - until the original owner stepped in.

"When we thought Link might want to get rid of it, we thought we'd give them a ring and see if we could negotiate a way to get it back," Rob Roughan told Newshub.

Using his own money, Roughan is deconstructing the café he and his brother built in 1995 - based on designs by architect Dennis Wright - and ran for four years.

"A lot of people have had fun in there at some part of their lives [and] have come through the place over the 25 years it was running. I think it's iconic," he says.

"Dennis designed it in quite an unusual way, like a tram station, and everyone seems to identify it with this area."

Soon it will be identified with another area - 3000 kilometres away in Niue. Niue is already renowned for its diving. Now, Roughan intends to attract tourists to a vanilla plantation he owns there by setting up the café alongside it.

"When we built it I thought, 'yeah, we'd like to have this building back at some stage'. To be able to do it is great, that's kind of special in itself," he told Newshub.

Taking down the venue should be a straightforward process

"When we built it we actually bolted it all together so we know how to take it apart, it's not welded."

He also plans to make a donation to the church across the road from the café.

"That's a feel-good thing, it's good for them and it's good for the area," he says.

"We're taking something away, so it's probably fitting that we give something back."

As another chapter in the colorful history of this building finishes, what looks like a happy ending is about to be written.