Bunsen has opened in the former Le Cafe premises on Worcester Boulevard, complete with a fresh new menu for the kids.

Owner Hamish Evans is the man behind Switch Espresso and Black Betty and he says Bunsen patrons get a taste of history while exploring new features. For example, the area previously used as the kitchen is now a public space, with new mezzanine, double-height ceiling and toilets.

“We have some amazing equipment plus gorgeous furniture that tells the story of this space as a former classroom for teaching science.”

Proud sponsors of the Great Hall Lunchtime Concerts. On the day of the concert, pop next door to Bunsen with your lunchtime concert programme and enjoy exclusive monthly deals.


The Clock Tower building where Bunsen is located was historically used for chemistry and science and the café’s menu and decor draws on and celebrates this history.


Former Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key stops off at Bunsen for a coffee with his parliamentary colleagues Amy Adams and Gerry Brownlee.

Bunsen takes up the ground floor and flows outside to a seating area on Worcester Boulevard – just as its predecessor Le Cafe did. Hamish has tracked down the original Le Cafe outdoor furniture, restored and reinstated it.

“It’s beautifully painted but still has the original slats so tells the story of its history and journey. After the earthquakes, the furniture was removed from site and been stored in a paddock in Marshlands. I’m so happy to be able to bring it back to its rightful home here at the Arts Centre – it’s another great connection for people.”

Restoration of the 1877 Gothic Revival building has given it a new lease of life while retaining its beautiful heritage features – including the well-known mezzanine dining area and distinctive ceiling. Bunsen’s design builds on this history, with its blend of shabby chic meets chemistry den – creating a space that, with a modern twist, builds on the character of a classic chemistry lab.

“Our contractors Elite Shopfitting and Construction have helped on all of my businesses and do an amazing job. They kept me involved but foresaw issues and found solutions that made the whole process smooth.”

The Chemistry theme flavours the menu, along with a few nods to previous long-standing and well-known tenant Le Café.

Contact Bunsen at: manager@bunsen.co.nz or Ph: 03-260 2272 to find out more.

Where: Clock Tower, 2 Worcester Boulevard

Opening hours:
Mon to Friday: 8am to 4pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9am to 4pm



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