International brand’s brewing


Queenstown’s old Vudu Cafe site has its first tenant.

Global chain Tea Too, which has four North Island stores, is setting up shop in Beach Street and spending $350,000 on the fitout.

It will occupy one of three 90 square metre shops in a $2 million development by the Davies family.

According to plans lodged with Queenstown’s council, the new tea shop will feature a smell table and tasting bar. The walls will be lined by tea libraries and wall bays.

It’s a retail store for packaged teas, gifts and homeware - no takeaway food or drink will be sold there.

Tea Too - owned by consumer products giant Unilever - didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Mike Davies, from developer Trojan Holdings, says he’s excited about an international brand coming to Queenstown.

He hopes the building’s fitout will be complete by August.

Davies’ company Beach Street Holdings Ltd bought 23, 25 and 27 Beach Street for almost $10m early last year.

When Queenstown institution Vudu was forced to close its doors in January, after 19 years, owner Michelle Freeman said she was gutted and had hoped to keep going for another two decades.

The old Vudu building was knocked down in January, prompting an outpouring of grief from former customers.

That area of Beach Street has been a bit of a business graveyard.

Citizen Cafe quickly closed and KiwiYo’s stay was similarly brief.

That part of upper Beach St is being trialled as pedestrian-only, which has caused headaches for construction workers.