I would like to thank people for your support as we rebuilt Smash Palace. It has been a very trying period. Otakaro Ltd decided some years ago that they were going to build a laneway right through Smash Palace. That’s what the designers decided should happen. Fighting that took a couple of years. Otakaro paid our lawyer, and the lawyers played happily in their sandpit and we got nowhere. The lawyers all got paid and we sat there, intransigent as ever.
What the designers hadn’t realised was that if the lane went through our bar everybody carrying their alcohol across the lane would have been engaged in an illegal act. You can’t carry alcohol across a public walkway. Nurse Maud, or somebody around her era, said so. We suggested that the lane should go down the side of our site. After some years of debate that eventually became acceptable; and that’s what happened.
We were paid to shift our bar sideways by 3 metres, eventually. This, combined with the Government wage subsidy for Covid 19, enabled us to keep the staff on and they became painters and decorators. If you speak to our chef, Erin, she will proudly show you what a great job she did painting the kitchen.
It’s taken a lot of effort from Greg and Johnny and Anna and the team of volunteers, like Julian and Fil, to get the bar into the condition it is in today; but full marks to everybody. Smash Palace was one of the first businesses to restart in the centre of Christchurch post-earthquakes and we have worked hard to maintain the spirit of struggles-ville which this bar represents. It has captured the spirit of the old Dux de Lux in the Arts Centre where we all went to relax and where our kids could roar around and we could sit back and have a decent beer.
When you stand under the umbrellas behind the bus have a look at the two pews along the back walls. Those came from the Anglican Church on Avonside Drive; a church hastily demolished after the earthquakes. The pews would be over 100 years old and the base is made of Rimu and the seat is Matai. Thanks to Paddy Snowdon and the Pump House we have managed to have a small part of the Church which Pam’s Dad, Peter Sharpe, worshiped in as a young man.
Here’s a photo of Smash Palace last Thursday night the day we re-opened the full bar again. Thanks everybody for your support, and encouragement.