Lincoln Womersly is looking forward to opening the McCashins Hop Garden at Founders Park next week. Photo: Charles Anderson.

‘McCashins Hop Garden’ heads to Founders as food-focussed bar


Almost eight months after Founders Heritage Park lost its brewery café, the site is set to hop back into life.

What once was Founders Brewery, then Park Life, will on October 18 become “McCashins Hop Garden”.

The news comes after McCashins and the owners of the kitchen in Stoke have partnered again to lease the site just as summer is coming on.

“We just thought we would just give it a crack,” says Lincoln Womersly, who runs the McCashins Brewery Kitchen & Bar and Blinc Catering.

The site has been on the market since March after the Duncan family, who ran it for 20 years, decided to put it up for sale.

There were some nibbles but no bites, so Lincoln approached them to see if they would consider leasing the business, which sits on Nelson City Council-owned land.

“We will do a bit of a renovation and we want to get it known for food and have a venue that is geared towards families.”

Lincoln says it will be shut on Mondays and Tuesdays, but open all public holidays.

They will do lunches five days a week and dinners two days a week, as well as being open later on a Sunday.

“The emphasis is really going to be on getting diners here and also doing really decent kids’ food,” he says.

Lincoln has worked in five-star restaurants and hotels across Melbourne before coming to New Zealand.

He says the foot traffic into Founders Park has suffered since the café closed and he was looking forward to seeing it brimming with people again.

But he only has a just over a week to make it happen.

“Everything has happened really quickly, but it will work. I was out here the other day sitting down and it was just beautiful. So I can’t wait.”