More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Iconic eatery ready to serve from a new location

Monday 21 February 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Business, National


Iconic eatery ready to serve from a new location
The Mooring Fish Café staff, from left, Grant Young, Jill Moko, Heinarii Tauira, Maueni Atariki and Neel Sen. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS/ 22022010

A landmark eatery on Rarotonga which was forced to close its doors last month has reopened at a temporary site.

The Mooring Fish Café at the Avana Fishing Club in Ngatangiia closed shop in January following notification from the Cook Islands Investment Corporation.

However, there was an overwhelming call for it to return.

The business reopened on Sunday (yesterday) at a new site opposite the Muri Night Market.

Co-owner Jill Kavana said she was pleased to be back in business.

“We have got a temporary spot so we can get set up and going, because everyone said come back,” Kavana said.

“We have a limited menu as we are trying to get the hang of the new environment.”

Moko said the operation is working towards getting a permanent site.

“People have been very supportive.”

The café had a trial run on Saturday with friends which worked out well, she said.

“We have got a sink, we have got power, we have got gas and we have done away with the dishwasher.

“Basically, everything now will be takeaway; hopefully we will provide some quick service.”    

The café was caught in the middle of a drama stretching back to 2017 when Government agreed to surrender a lease to the landowners.

The Mooring Fish Café at the Avana Fishing Club near Ngatangiia permanently closed earlu last month. PHOTO: CI NEWS/2201119

The lease had stipulated the land be used for public purposes and the matter dragged on as more landowners were brought on board in an effort to address wider concerns about the Avana Harbour and surrounding area.

The Crown reached out to landowners who raised concerns the land in the vicinity of the Avana Fishing Club was being used for business purposes.

In July 2021 the matter went to court as the Kainuku family, through their lawyer Catherine Evans, sought to negotiate surrender of the land.

The family advised the Crown they would accept the surrender, but only on the basis of the Moorings Café being removed.

The Avana Fishing Club was allowed to stay on.

A notice to quit was served to the Mooring Café on December 2, 2021.

Moko has been operating the eatery for the past 12 years.

She said the new operation will operate on Sundays between 12 noon and 4pm, and on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 11am and 3pm. 


Carolynne Ball on 21/02/2022