The Sprig + Fern Berhampore Tavern in Wellington is doing its part to look after locals, offering the use of their Tavern to a well-known café recently displaced by a fire.
The Chocolate Fish Café in Shelly Bay was forced out of their premises late last month after a warehouse fire prompted an asbestos cleanup, closing Shelly Bay Road for a period of several weeks.
John and Rachel Sommerfield, owners of Sprig + Fern Berhampore, contacted John and Penny Pennington – the owners of Chocolate Fish – with an offer to help them out. They gratefully accepted, and will be operating a pop-up version of their café at the Berhampore Tavern from this weekend.
Asked how the arrangement came together, John said:
“My wife, Rachel, read the article about Chocolate Fish’s situation, showed it to me, and we straight away had a chat about what we could do to help them out. A pop-up seemed the best option – our customers are used to having pop-ups here, with the likes of Naughty Naughty and The Greek Food Truck setting up regularly. Sharing the space is something we’re used to, and with us opening at midday at weekends there’s only a small crossover in the afternoon anyway. We took the idea to them, and they were super keen.
“The community around here has helped us out in the past, like when we had a break in a little while back, and it’s incredible to have that support. We hope this is our way of giving something back.”
The couple’s act of generosity has struck a chord with locals, who are understandably delighted to see the café be given a helping hand. Details of the pop-up have been shared widely on social media, in the Dominion Post, and on Seven Sharp.
The fire, which Police are treating as suspicious, is being investigated and the cleanup is ongoing. Chocolate Fish Café are hopeful to be back in their own space in September – in the meantime, the Chocolate Fish Café pop-up will be underway from 10am Saturday and Sunday, from this weekend and running for the next few weeks, at Sprig + Fern Berhampore on Adelaide Road.
The Tavern, which recently won the award of Best Local at the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence, opens 3pm until late from Monday to Thursday, and midday to late from Friday to Sunday.