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Waterfront hospitality venue in marina location goes on the market for ‘sail’

Casual-dining Billfish restaurant and bar is located at Z Pier at Westhaven Marina - between Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The eatery has been operating from Z Pier for 13-years - with annual profits recorded year-on-year consistently over that time.

Westhaven Marina accommodates more than 2000 sailing craft and motor vessels – both moored and in stacked storage warehousing. Z Pier, where the Billfish restaurant and bar is located, is the commercial hub of Westhaven Marina – servicing more than 50 charter operators and chandlery businesses.

Westhaven is also home to four yacht clubs, in addition to the Ponsonby Sailing School, the Auckland Dragon Boat Club, the Etchell Fleet, and the charity Sailability which offers on-water experiences for people with disabilities.

The licensed Billfish hospitality business at 31 Westhaven Drive has been placed on the market for sale through Bayleys Real Estate’s tourism and hospitality division, with offers closing at 4pm on June 27. The business is licensed to serve some 100 diners over two levels.

Bayleys’ tourism and hospitality group salespeople Carolyn Hanson and Mike Peterson said Billfish operated from a 225.5 square metre premises – encompassing 117.2 square metres of ground floor kitchen and dining space, with 41.4 square metres of outdoor decking, and 66.9 square metres of second floor café service area.

“The northerly-facing al-fresco deck looks out over hundreds of pleasure craft moored at Westhaven Marina, with the Auckland Harbour Bridge beyond the breakwater, and the suburbs of the North Shore on the horizon,” said Ms Hanson.

“Unless booked for private functions, Billfish operates for breakfasts, lunches and afternoon tapas on Tuesday and Wednesdays, then for breakfast, lunch and dinner service from Thursday through to Sunday.

“Billfish is very much a destination establishment, although the growing residential population of apartment dwellers in the Wynyard Quarter is bringing in a new clientele as occupation of the blocks increases.

“Weekend visitor numbers have grown significantly over the past five years with the construction of the bike path linking the Viaduct, Wynyard Quarter and Silo Park precincts with the Westhaven Marina breakwater and lower inner-harbour facing approach of the harbour bridge.

“There is also the opportunity to increase the number of weddings and functions hosted at Billfish through target marketing to that niche clientele.”

Billfish employs a mix of full-time and part-time. The food and beverage venture operates from its Westhaven Marina premises on a lease running through to 2024. It has designated customer car parks, as well as shared access to some 200 council-administered public car parking spaces.

Mr Peterson said that with the America’s Cup looming large in the summer of 2021, Billfish would be one of several waterfront hospitality establishments poised to see a growth in turnover from the corporate sector looking for food and beverage services directly linked to the racing.

“This can either be as a morning venue serving the likes of coffee and muffins before spectators head off for the day from Westhaven Marina, or as an evening entertaining venue when spectator craft and their passengers come back into port at the end of the day’s racing,” Mr Peterson said.

“If the past America’s Cup events are the benchmarks to go by, business will be corporate focused during the week, and personal or leisure orientated over the weekends. Again, this allows for venues such as Billfish to target-market their food and beverage options accordingly.

“The benefit of also having split foodservice areas means Billfish can operate two functions simultaneously, or allocate just the upstairs portion to hosting a private event or wedding while still allowing general public access to the lower floor and alfresco areas.

“That’s a flexibility many hospitality operations simply can offer because of their design lay-out.”

Mr Peterson said the Billfish businesses would suit an existing café or restaurant operator with a marketing-orientated background looking to a venue which would allow them to increase the number of hours they could open for. A full suite of fittings, furnishings, cutlery, crockery and stock was included in the Billfish sale – making it a virtual ‘turn-key’ operation.

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