Union Fish Company Building
THIS ORNATE TWO-STOREY BUILDING FORMERLY HOUSED ENGINEERING AND MARINE WORKSHOPS, UNTIL ITS REINVENTION AS A BAVARIAN-THEMED BAR AND RESTAURANT IN THE 1970s.
Completed in 1906, this building was originally the offices and workshop of W. A. Ryan & Company. The company was considered to be at the forefront of engineering technology in New Zealand, importing and maintaining some of the country’s earliest motorcars.
The building’s brick and stone design, constructed in the British Free Style, may be attributed to R. M. Watt, who designed the Ponsonby Fire Station.
The building was originally four bays long, with large windows to light the ground floor workshop. When fire destroyed the interior of the building soon after its opening in 1906, two additional bays were added as part of the refurbishment.
In 1912 the building was taken over as a marine workshop by the United Repairing Company, co-owned by the Northern Steamship Company and the Union Steamship Company. The decline of shipping led to the demolition of the two extra bays in the early 1960s.
From shipping to dining
In 1974 the building was converted into a Bavarian-themed bar and restaurant, Harro’s Hofbräuhaus, featuring German beer, food and a band playing traditional German drinking songs. In 1981 it became the Union Fish Co. Seafood Restaurant.
The building survived plans for its demolition in the 1980s and has today been fully refurbished by Cooper and Company as part of the Britomart redevelopment programme.
Brickwork on the Quay and Tyler Street frontages has been restored and replaced. Original openings on each facade have been reinstated, along with the appropriate timber joinery. Three pedimented parapets have also been reinstated, along with the original style of roof.
Today the ground floor is home to Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar Ebisu and daytime cafe Precinct Cafe.
IN THIS BUILDING
The Business Bakery
Find The Union Fish Company Building
116-118 Quay Street