When video footage emerged online of Cyclone Fehi smashing through the walls of the Boat Shed Café in February, many thought that it was the end of the iconic Nelson restaurant.
But last Thursday it defied the odds when it opened back up to the public after extensive renovations.
Restaurant co-owner Daniel Monopoli says it has been a long process and it is a great feeling to be back in business. The team always thought they would get back open.
“We were all realistic about the considerable damage, but were always confident we would get back.”
He says the building has been substantially upgraded but still maintains its rustic beauty and charm.
Despite the four-month close period, Daniel says they have retained the core of their staff.
“It has been a challenging year for management and staff, but we have brought them back now and we are all ready to move forward.”
Daniel says the community had been incredibly supportive during an uncertain period.
“We have had people dropping in over the rebuild period and lots of positive talk on social media.”
He says he feels extremely fortunate to work at such a uniquely beautiful spot.
“It’s a great business. When there isn’t a single ripple on the water out there, it’s just magic.”
The Boat Shed Cafe has resumed normal hours, generally from 10am-9pm.
“We are all looking forward to seeing our customers again,” Daniel says.