Regatta Bar & Eatery – Business inspired by Takapuna Beach
Andy Ruzich opened Regatta Bar & Eatery on the Takapuna Beach waterfront, inspired by “following my GPS to a deserted car park along Takapuna Beach one early morning and realising with astonishment that this stunning beach and location was an untapped treasure”. The new development of what is now the Main Beach building presented a huge opportunity to submit a concept to win the tenancy and to open something really special. This seeming unplanned move was perhaps inspired by Richard Branson, whom Andy admires for his “visionary approach to people, culture and willingness to try new things”.
Once made, his decision was, he says, strongly supported by the local community, who said ‘This is fabulous and we have been waiting 30 years for you.’ – and who turned up in expected droves to sample what Regatta had to offer. “Our first few weeks were chaotic, challenging and manic, but I would not change anything for the world.” Nor would the many visitors and regulars from all over the Shore, for whom Regatta remains a magnet for great food and entertainment, not to mention a superb start or finish point for a walk along the beach.
During the last five years, Andy’s made a fine art out of selecting the best chefs, and ensuring that whatever the occasion – a sold-out breakfast for 120 North Harbour Club members, a fundraising event for Make-A-Wish Foundation, a corporate dinner or a special anniversary or birthday – his guests feel welcomed, more than well catered for, and able to relax and enjoy the laid-back ambience of Regatta in all its formats.
Andy has juggled the growth of Regatta with giving back to the community (supporting charities such as North Harbour Club, raising over $100,000 for them last year; Make A Wish Foundation and the Takapuna Beach Business Association) and a busy family life with his French partner Laetitia and their four children. He even finds time to take care of his saltwater aquatic reef tank and treasuring the newest family member – a Rabbit-faced Fox Fish called Foxtrot, who is a “super cool little dude with a big attitude to go with that awesome name”.
For relaxation, Andy loves re-energising at home and “experimenting with cooking for my family and friends”. His favourite meal is “probably game meat or sea food”, plenty of which appears on the Regatta menu, but his self-confessed “newest eccentric tastes are for cricket slider buns – healthy and sustainable protein and delicious too” – which are not (yet?) on Regatta’s menu.
He loves: Cooking for family and friends, and his saltwater aquatic reef tank and a Rabbit Faced Fox Fish called Foxtrot
We love: Regatta’s fabulous food and views