This week we opened our Christchurch store in the Midland Club – more commonly known as the Café Roma building – located at 176 Oxford Terrace, fronting the Avon River.
The Italian palazzo-style building was built in the 1930’s to house an exclusive Christchurch men’s club and has been extensively renovated including a meticulous restoration of its pink façade.
I knew instantly that the character building in a precinct rich with creativity was the right home for Crane Brothers. The building encapsulates everything I love about the city. It’s a landmark that I admired as a young man and almost everyone I know in Christchurch has a personal connection with or memory of it.
This is our fourth Crane Brothers store since opening our flagship High St store in Auckland in 2000, a Wellington branch in 2007 and a store in Sydney’s central business district in 2011.
The Christchurch store opening resolves a long-held ambition to have a retail presence in the garden city. Plans were in motion to open prior to the 2010/11 earthquakes, but the disasters meant these had to be put on hold for several years.
Christchurch means a lot to me on a personal level and as a business, we want to contribute to the rebuild and regeneration of the city. With my South Island background, it’s also very important to me to be seen as a national brand.
My roots in Canterbury date back to the arrival of my great, great grandfather George Douglas, a pre-Adamite settler, in 1850. Our family has a long heritage of wool farming in the region with Douglas registering the second wool bale brand issued in Canterbury in 1854.
Highlights of the fit out include a Large Polyhedral Chandelier designed by Carlo Scarpa for Venini in the 1960’s set amongst custom joinery all designed and made by local craftsman and artists; Robin Neate.
Rufus Knight assisted with the interior architecture that has all the hallmarks of a Crane Brothers store.
176 Oxford Terrace
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