Coopers opens for functions

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Tamahere has a new function centre in its midst, Coopers, which has opened its stylish doors next door to the popular Woodbox Restaurant.
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The Woodbox on Mystery Creek Rd and overlooking the Waikato River has been open for four years and owner Matt Cooper said virtually from the first day he and wife Lisa were fielding inquiries for it to host weddings.

“We never wanted to close the restaurant for weddings so we thought we’d build a function centre,” he says in the grand foyer of the new building, named after the couple, designed by architect Murray Price and built over the last 11 months. It’s been three years in the planning.

The Coopers wanted to match the homely but stylish interior of The Woodbox and create a “top end” function centre. The grand rooms, attractive furniture, schist features both inside and out, the earthy tones of the interior decor, designed by Scarlet Architects, and spectacular views of the Waikato River from floor to ceiling windows would seem to have provided that in no uncertain terms.

The centre seats 120 diners, can handle conferences for 20 to 120, has a sweeping drive into a covered entrance for those wedding day grand arrivals and, most popular of all, Matt says, has a dedicated bride’s room for those last minute touches for the female side of the bridal party.

As chef, though, his domain is the gleaming kitchen with its metres of stainless steel benches and progammable oven that, according to an enthusiastic Matt, can produce meat so tender knives sound as though they may well be redundant. His aim is to turn out the same quality of meals at Coopers as is achieved at The Woodbox.

Currently, many Woodbox staff work between both premises but as demand for functions grows Coopers will have its own, dedicated staff.

Weddings have already been booked in for the new year’s season and its not hard to see why it would prove attractive. Everywhere you look, whether in or out of the grand building, along the river or among the grapevines there are picturesque scenes ready to provide a backdrop for photographs of a bride and groom.

An open day is planned at Coopers in a few weeks. Tamahere Forum will keep you posted on the date.

Meantime, more about Coopers here on its website.

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