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Popular cafe back up and running

Popular café, Hot Waves, in Hot Water Beach is open and operating again. The Hot Water Beach community is excited to see this iconic café venue back in business, bringing much needed dining and drinking options to the area.

Originally aiming to begin trading in July, the café opening was delayed until September, due to the new owners, Shell and Jed Harper’s limited ability to recruit staff in the area. Although staff are starting to trickle into the café, and they are getting some assistance from kind neighbours, the couple are still looking for people to add to their team to resource for what they see as a very busy summer. They are confident in having a full complement by November. In the mean time, Jed and Shell have opened Hot Waves four days per week, Thursday through Sunday from 8.00 am through to 2.30. They aim to be trading seven days per week, breakfast through 5.00 pm as soon as they can build the team.

2022 has been a huge year for Shell and Jed Harper, who also currently own the Coroglen Tavern. But they are executing on a pre-meditated plan to make a lifestyle change from publicans and event managers of a large entertainment venue to more genteel daytime café owners. They are making the transition to be able to move to Hot Water Beach full time and give their children Meg (14) and Slade (12) more attention and more chances to enjoy their teenage years as part of a beach community. The Coroglen Tavern is currently for sale and there is quite a lot of interest in the property, which also includes the Harper family home and land. If the pub does not sell by November, they will take it off the market, as they have a contingency plan to run both businesses. Of course, if they do sell the pub, they will have to find a new place to live, but the couple are taking that in their stride.

Shell and Jed have spent the last few months renovating and creating a proper licensed bar with taps for beers and ciders. They are also working on a cocktail list for summertime tipples, for those coming off the beach. There is a lot of built-up excitement in the area about the re-opening of Hot Waves and that has put Shell and Jed under some pressure to “get it right”. They are testing out a whole lot of plates each day and are creating their new menu through an iterative process of “trial by doing”. They are building on a direction of beautiful artisan breakfasts and a lunchtime and afternoon menu of shared platters featuring locally sourced and fresh seasonal produce. They like the idea of sharing platters to create more socialisation and they say that the lack of cell phone coverage in the area only encourages patrons to kick back and interact.

Jed and Shell will continue with the Hot Waves staple of open microphone nights and will bring in the odd acoustic musical artists of the summer. They will also continue to host the Mercury Bay Art Escape launch in March.

The couple have a vision for Hot Waves as a bustling, “good vibe” place, with shared food, shared stories and excellent music.

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