Vogel St has become one of Dunedin's biggest destination cafes. Built in the heart of Dunedin's historic precinct it kicked off a movement that got the area buzzing.
The two-storied warehouse was previously a derelict printing shop, it has been renovated into a modern industrial space. The welding work from landlord Lawrie Forbes is spectacular and shows off the local talent.
The menu is large with both kitchen items, pizza menu and a huge amount of cabinet items. My favourites are, the polenta fries, amazing and full of flavour, the Bannockburn pizza - simple but delicious, and the pulled pork sandwich, juicy and rich.
The large open space makes you feel like you could be in a big city, especially on a Saturday/Sunday when the place is packed.
Vogel Street is filled with character and surrounded by history. Watch this space, Vogel will soon be having a sister business just down the road.
Riah grew up in Christchurch, but Dunedin has always felt more like home.
“My grandparents and all of the rest of my family are Dunedin-ites. I think pretty much every school holiday in my childhood was spent here.”
Riah began in hospitality in her late teens (mainly restaurants and the odd bar) and worked for ten years or so in the industry. From the age of 16, she always knew she’d open her own place, but didn’t settle on Dunedin until she moved here after the Christchurch earthquakes.
“I've probably devoted far too many hours over the years mapping out VSK in my imagination, but I do believe that it helped make it happen. My main inspiration has always been to create a place that just makes people feel good when they walk in the door.”
“There are so many ingredients that go into what makes a great cafe, but if the atmosphere doesn't have that buzz, if the people aren’t great then it won't matter how good the food is. It's got to have a heart or it won't work.
“Vogel St Kitchen is all about that. We have the buzz and a great team of genuinely warm people who enjoy their jobs. Everything else flows from those two things.
VSK food is sourced locally and is organic wherever possible. Eggs, chicken and meat are always free-range. Best sellers are wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches, and the breakfast stack.
“I love escaping to other eating places in the city when I can” adds Riah. You’ll find me mainly at Vanguard, the farmers market or Jitsu.
“I juggle everyday life running the business and looking after my three daughters (8 years old and 4-year-old twins) and am currently working on our new cafe. There are so many things I love about this place, mainly the gorgeous people, stunning natural environment and the cities depth and quirks and history. I feel lucky to live here.”
Riah is opening a new cafe on Vogel St which is due to open this spring. You heard it here first.
To find out more information visit: www.facebook.com/vogelstkitchen