An interview with Andy Ruzich at Regatta Bar

We caught up with Andy Ruzich, owner of Regatta Bar and Eatery to chat about all things Regatta and the Hospitality industry.

You have created Regatta Bar and Eatery to be famous for its seafood, fresh food and amazing views – What inspired you to create it?

I wanted to capture the essence of our great kiwi lifestyle by heroing our love for this costal playground all while celebrating the amazing kaimoana right here on our door step. We had fun with the interior design playing with the iconic kiwi batch using wooden floors and hanging eel net and boat mooring lighting features through to white and teal tiling and a splash of marble to bring together the opulence of an upmarket bistro will still staying relevant to our roots of being authentic and not too flashy! I wanted the feeling of an escape to a resort like location as you walk in that makes you feel like you are in the right place for a celebration while still being approachable from a walk on the beach to pull up a stool on the veranda in your flip-flops for a beer and the best fish n chips in town with your mates.

This was a really important key focus and I think we pulled that off well.

With your new menu, tell is about your favourite dish and why you love it?

The line-caught snapper from Leigh Fisheries is an absolute winner and one of our highest selling dishes. It has amazing depth of flavour with just the right balance of acidity to complement the delicate pan-fried fish yet still with a crispy skin for some texture. And you can feel good eating it with confidence that your are eating a sustainably caught fish from right here in our own back yard.

Regatta has so much outdoor seating and amazing views – tell us how you created this and who you worked with?

Working with award winning designer Chris Stevens from Control Space was an awesome journey as he really took on my personal inspirations and brought them together with his experience and skill in design to land us with what he have today. In fact Regatta was awarded Silver in the NZ Interior Design Awards that year which was testament to the hard work that really paid off.  

Hospitality has been a tough business with COVID – How have you managed to keep the doors open and customer experience high?

This pandemic has been the greatest challenge of my career to overcome and it continues to be so. I am very proud however of the strength in the Regatta brand and all the support we have received from our local community. Our staff have been incredibly loyal and stood my me as well which I am extremely grateful for. I have an amazing team and they are the reason we are so successful.

What can the government be doing to better support the hospitality industry?

Don’t get me started! Let’s just say that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to industry financial support doesn’t work. They need to have a more tailored approach to different industries and how they are affected if they want to keep this economy afloat.

Check out the full interview in the Channel Magazine here, or pick up a copy of the new March 2022 edition from one of their stands!

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