'It a bombsite' - Wellington restaurant owner allowed back inside building months after quake

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Owners of an upmarket Wellington restaurant have been allowed back inside their building for the first time today, after being forced to close in the aftermath of the Kaikoura earthquake.

Many buildings in Courtenay Central were evacuated days after the November 14 quake because of their proximity to the Reading Cinemas car park, which was at risk of collapsing.

More than three months after the Kaikoura quake hit the capital, restaurant owners were able today to return to their business.
Source: 1 NEWS

Asian-fusion restaurant Dragonfly co-owner Tania Siladi guesses they had "two minutes" to vacate the premises at the time.

"We had people in high-vis vest telling us, 'you have to get out, you have to get out, it's not safe"," she told 1 NEWS.

Staff were told they'd be out of their building for 48 hours.  

"Then we were told two weeks, now it's been three months," she said.

While there's no damage to the building Dragonfly is in, the courtyard has been pelted with concrete chunks from demolition work nearby.

"Oh my god, it looks like a bombsite," Ms Siladi exclaimed when she laid eyes on the fallout.

Dragonfly is currently relocated at pop up store across the road in the St James Theatre Mojo Cafe.

Ms Siladi doesn't know when they'll be able to open their doors to the public at their permanent address, but is hopeful it'll be in the next week or so.

For now, the clean up begins.

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