Restaurateur Says “Stop Bagging on Tauranga’s City Centre!”

Tauranga restauranteur Billy Emeny’s new joint venture is proof of the growing confidence in the town’s city centre. Emeny has opened Norris & Bell on The Strand with business partner Moh Sawroop and is proud to be adding the CBD’s unique offerings.

“I’ve been a restauranteur in the city centre for several years. I love it. I believe in it and I get sick of people bagging it,” expressed Emeny.

“We have some of the best dining options in the region and we’ve just added to the mix with our latest venture.”

With a beautifully crafted interior fitout, Norris & Bell is appealing to those looking for a stunning spot to catch up with friends for a drink or for a top-level dining experience. It will be the first wood-fired eatery in the city centre that focusses on meat and seafood.

“We wanted to do something unique. Often people think pizza’s when they hear a restaurant is offering wood-fired flavour,” noted Sawroop.

“Instead, we have created a new dining experience featuring selected steak cuts, oysters, prawns … a beautiful combination of meats, seafoods and vegetarian offerings.”

Neither Emeny and Sawroop are newcomers to the restaurant business. Emeny owns CBK Craft Bar & Kitchen Tauranga and Sawroop owns CBK and Leonardo’s, both on Eat Street in Rotorua, and both are strong believers in the Tauranga CBD saying it’s time for the public to take a fresh look at the city centre.

“There are heaps of business owners here, like me, who are immensely proud of what we do,” said Emeny.

“There are exclusive shopping options and great dining experiences. Yep, there’s a lot of transformation going on and we have a lot of vacancies - COVID hasn’t exactly helped either. But we’ve got stuff in the city centre that you can’t get anywhere else and in the hospitality sector I get to work alongside some of the most incredible restaurants.”

Sawroop agrees.

“When you stop and think about it we have better and more dining options in the CBD than anywhere else in the region,” he commented.

“We’re pretty proud of that and excited for the future.”