12 December 2011
Photography by Anna Kidman
Another addition to an increasingly vibrant downtown Auckland opens its doors.
We are excited to welcome Imperial Lane to the heart of the Auckland CBD, whose doors officially opened to the public last Thursday. After remaining virtually untouched for more than 40 years, the grand old Imperial building in Auckland’s Fort Lane has been bought back to life by a collection of some of our finest visionaries. Developers Phillmore Properties, award winning architects Fearon Hay and hospitality gurus Pack Group (of Snapdragon, Smith bar, Shaky Isles, Northern Steamship and Neighbourhood fame) have joined forces to create one of the city’s first ‘shared space’ hospitality precincts, adopting the pedestrian only aspects of great cities like New York and Melbourne.
Imperial Lane is now bustling with people eager to adopt the area as a stop off in their daily routines. By day, the vast expanse, which carves out a convenient ground-level thoroughfare between Fort Lane and Queen Street, is home to Elske, a Danish inspired European patisserie, helmed by pastry chef Kristina Jensen. With their hard to resist fresh pastries, cakes and savory delights, it is the perfect morning stop off for city goers. Come 4pm, the lane transforms into a tapas style eatery, serving oysters, charcuterie, cheese and small plates alongside a great selection of wines, all available by the glass.
Imperial lane has a distinct 19th century industrial warehouse feel, with its raw exposed bricks, poured concrete tables, cobblestone paved laneway and huge light wells that transcend four stories. Half way down the laneway a sweeping spiral staircase leads to the upper floors, which houses the Imperial’s further two eateries – The Roxy, a fine dining restaurant, and Everybody’s, a casual bistro, both expertly helmed by celebrated chef Sean Marshall, previously of Wellington’s Matterhorn fame.
7 Fort Lane