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Christchurch nightlife at 80%

More than 200 new restaurants, bars and cafes have opened in Christchurch in the past 18 months, according to new research by the University of Canterbury (UC).

Figures show 794 hospitality outlets are now open for business in the Garden City – a return to almost 80% of pre-earthquake levels.

However, more than 350 Christchurch restaurants, bars and cafes still remain closed since the 2011 earthquakes.
UC senior marketing lecturer Sussie Morrish commented: “It is great to see the hospitality industry getting back on its feet. There is demand for their services and market forces will continue to play, making room for new operators.”

She added: “What I understand from restaurant owners is that challenges still remain but there is optimism. Who would not want to be part of a multi-billion dollar recovery? Christchurch is seriously progressing forward now. There is a lot of good will. It is a very dynamic process.”

The news comes as the Christchurch City Council considers submissions for its draft Local Alcohol Policy (LAP), which could impose a 1am closing time for bars and pubs in the central city – a move that has been met with criticism from within the industry.

The provisional LAP will be publicly notified in early 2014, at which time it will be open to appeals. Final adoption will come later in the year.

While you’re here, read our picks of some of the best new Christchurch restaurants, cafes and bars.

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