Back to People
11.12.19
CHCH Central Unwrapped: James Bagrie

We sat down with James Bagrie of Caffeine Laboratory fame over a spot-on coffee in the sunshine of New Regent Street. Happy tourists mill around, and James is interrupted many times by locals while we ask him about his summer plans:

James Bagrie went to Australia after school and started working in hospitality. When he returned to Christchurch a few years later, he saw that a lot of coffee shops were very cafe orientated, with big seating areas and big menus. James wanted to focus on hole-in-the-wall coffee. Caffeine Lab started in ‘09 in Shades Arcade, focussing on takeaway coffee. The earthquake happened, so they fitted out a shipping container and put it on Montreal St where it stayed for 5 years. During that time they fitted out another container and put that in the ReStart Mall (to which shipping containers were no strange concept), where it lived for a while. In the process they found the beautiful New Regent St site we’ve come to know and love. Here he’s changed up the model to include more food and seating.


James at Caffeine Lab


We sat down with James over a spot-on coffee in the sunshine of New Regent Street. Happy tourists mill around, and James is interrupted many times by locals while we ask him about his summer plans:


Welles St


Where you’ll be eating and drinking:

Welles St - $15 ‘Eat like a Greek’ lunch special with lamb and mixing up the sides, and a couple beers! Pomeroys or O.G.B. for beer as well.


Pomeroy's


Present buying go-to:

Hunters & Collectors in High St is a great place for gift-worthy shopping. Maybe some kids clothes from Country Road, and something for myself from Infinite Definite.


Infinite Definite


Favourite spot:

We always come in to the city with the kids on a Sunday. We start at the scooter track or Margaret Mahy playground. The kids get on their bikes and we go around the promenade, sometimes to the Gardens or down the strip where Cynthia (my wife) and I can sit and get a drink while we watch the kids ride their bikes. There’s no traffic for them to worry about except the tram, and they love the eels.


Secret place:

I hide in the sauna at Les Mills. It’s pretty much why I go to the gym. I walk around the gym room, walk between some weights, past the crosstrainers, back out the front door and into the sauna. 


Best Christmas Movie:

Diehard.


Favourite part of the Christmas meal:

The sleep. I like that it’s one of two days of the year that we’re not open.


Summer Events:

We’re taking the kids to The Lion King at the Arts Centre Outdoor Cinema! And will take the kids to the Santa Parade.


Christmas wish for CHCH Central:

More people. For developers to start building stuff on Armagh St, instead of having a protected seagull community - which is cool - but the 20 storey apartment building that was there would be cool too.