Village venue changes course

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Arrowtown’s renowned Saffron restaurant has reopened with a new menu, new fit-out and new name.

Rosie B’s offers a more casual atmosphere than its fine dining predecessor.

It’s named after notorious local goldrush character Bully Hayes’ wife, stage performer Rosetta Buckingham.

Local Flying Trestles catering company owners Vicky and Dave Arnold, jeweller Sir Michael Hill and other partners last year bought Saffron, which opened in 1999, along with Agave restaurant behind it and The Blue Door nightspot, beside it, from partners Melanie Hill and chef Pete Gawron.

They then reopened Agave as Asian fusion restaurant Fan-Tan, last October.

Dave Arnold says they’ve now also changed Saffron because they couldn’t be expected to follow in Gawron’s unique footsteps, and a lot of people are “over fine dining”.

Following a three-month fit-out, Rosie B’s opened last Friday.

“We’ve got a bit of quirkiness going on with the menu as well as the fit-out,” Arnold says.

Menu highlights include Fiordland Lobster Company’s ‘wild legend lobster’ “at a price point you’re not going to get anywhere else”, high country meats and “some amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes”.

“We want to keep this all-Kiwi,” Arnold says.

In something of a novelty, Rosie B’s is also selling some rare product it’s using in its dishes like organic olive oil and other dressings.

Arnold says he’s proud that kitchen staff pitched in to help with the fit-out.

scoop@scene.co.nz