A restaurant in the Masterton suburb of Kuripuni is offering customers the opportunity to purchase bottles of whisky and store them on-site in specially-made whisky lockers. Koi, which sits on the site of the old Wairarapa Trading Company bar, was refurbished last month and will serve dishes from India and Southeast Asia. Owner Sunny Grewal said the idea for the storage system came from Japan, although there was also a personal reason.

“I am a big whisky lover and the way it started was my grandfather used to drink whisky and he would have those private sessions with his family and friends, sitting in a cosy area with a bottle of whisky on the table and enjoying it,” he said.

Koi sells Irish whiskey and Scottish whisky, and lockers can be rented for $300 a year. The intention, Grewal said, is for customers to have dinner at the restaurant then move to the bar for a whiskey from their locker. So far all but three of the 25 lockers have been reserved.