CBK Craft Bar & Kitchen is a well known and loved eatery in the city centre, but you may have yet to discover new kid on the block; Station 83. Both are owned by well-known Downtown Tauranga local Billy Emeny.
I ask Billy what sets the two apart and he tells me CBK is famous for its stone grill menu, craft beer selection and all-day sun whilst Station 83 is all about the families with a dedicated kid’s area and wood-fired pizza’s dominating the menu.
Billy is a born & bred Tauranga boy. His Nana was the first postie in Mount Maunganui, and you can even catch a photo of her on the wall at CBK.
Billy’s first jobs were as a dishie and a glassie at Grumpy Mole and The Outback in Hamilton, going on to opening seven bars for other operators before doing a complete u-turn and becoming a teacher! But - his yearning to own his own business and work for himself made him draw on his skill set in the hospitality industry and changing tact again to open CBK. This was obviously a good move!
Fast forward a few years and Billy was keen to explore opening a venue on The Strand and after some interesting conversations with Mohinder Sawroop, a successful restaurateur in Rotorua, Station 83 was born. Both venues are early adopters for introducing digital table ordering tablets as opposed to menus and run 7-day specials, happy hours and $20 lunch specials.
When I asked Billy what he loves about Downtown Tauranga he said “To put it simply, our city centre is on the waterfront, not all CBD’s have that luxury so what’s not to love?! The CBD is the CBD, it’s not going anywhere. There are currently billions of dollars being spent on infrastructure here so it’s only a matter of time and until then let’s embrace it! Come down and eat, drink, and socialise, it’s a beautiful place with some phenomenal operators down here.”
So, what’s next for Billy? Billy is adding to the family in more ways than one, with a baby on the way, he’s also planning to open a Heineken venue in Omokoroa in 2023.
Sounds like a successful recipe to me! Watch this space….