Meet: Mark McGuinness – Director



Hi Mark – Great to have the new Belgian Beer Café up and running – how are you enjoying having Leffe back? 

Yes Leffe was absent from Christchurch for over two years until we reopened and the sales of it almost doubled when we finally had it back , I did help with personal consumption towards this.

Did you manage to get much out of the old site? 

We were lucky to retrieve everything you see in our new site Honeybone builders did a great job of remodelling to fit the shape of the new site. We really lost only all our glassware , stock and some memorabilia from the old site

How are you finding the new site at “The Colombo” compared to the last one? 

Our new site is slightly smaller and of course you can’t compare the nature of the old Provincial Chambers with the more modern building we are in .Yet the new site has a more intimate feel to it and with our north facing aspect we have a fantastic outdoor area

You have been in hospitality for a couple of beers – sorry years – now. How did it all get started? 

Well back in the “late” 70’s I got recruited to play rugby in Wellington after a year playing and drinking at Massey Uni, Palm. Nth, oh yes some study. I literally hated working in an air conditioned office at the insurance company I was with so three months later left and started on Boxing Day as a trainee manager/bar manager and away we went.

What have you got in store for us with the Belgian Beer Café moving forward? 

We have some exciting additions coming up with a refresh of the concept involving new menu style offerings and 3-4 new tap house beers and cider coming on stream and more importantly for the consumer cheaper pricing

Outside the café what have you been up too?

Like a lot of Cantabrians the last three years has been involved in insurance haggles of one sort or another both domestic and business and then working on various projects to get The Hof reopened . Quite a draining time for all.

Relaxing with a spot of mountain biking came to an end in Nov 2012 with a broken collarbone up on Godley Head , couldn’t have been further away from help if I’d tried. Mind you it gave me plenty of time to get back up to speed on the beers that we have in the fridge.