Shop Eight, located on Christchurch's historic New Regent street, is a hidden gem, a classic space with a fantastic atmosphere, serving produce and wines sourced locally.
Liz Phelan took on the lease of number 8 New Regent Street, along with the folk at Rekindle (the talented designers who turn reclaimed timber into beautiful furniture), in April 2013. The shop began with just one espresso machine, in the intimate downstairs section of the building, and quickly proved to be a popular addition to the redeveloping inner city.
Liz was determined to convert the cafe into a wine bar and eatery and upon meeting chef, Alex Davies, recognised that with his passion for local food and creativity, it could be possible. Liz went ahead and built a tiny kitchen in the rear of the shop, hoping that she could in turn get Alex on board to help out. It feels like a good time to jump forward in the story and explain that the gamble paid off. Alex is now a partner in the business and a huge creative inspiration in the kitchen.
Alex and Liz are both passionate about using local, seasonal produce to create exciting and intricately crafted shared plates. The menu changes daily in accordance with what is available, but with delights such as kina, pigs tails and quail eggs, there's never a dull moment. They've made connections with local growers, farmers, markets and wine producers in the Canterbury region to ensure they are able to maintain their restaurant with local produce. Both Liz and Alex can regularly be found out in Waipara, visiting vineyards, or on Banks Peninsula with various growers and farmers, learning more about the food and wine they are serving at Shop Eight.
The wine list is comprised exclusively of Waipara wines, with Terrace Edge Syrah available, and a new order of 'Liquid Geography' Riesling having just arrived.
Shop Eight is a curated experience of all things local, crafted and environmentally aware. It is a welcome addition to the plethora of new businesses in Christchurch and a beautiful space to share some carefully selected local wines and exciting menu offerings.