Rainbow glass-blown lampshades, Estrella on tap and floral cane furniture transports you to South America at Castro’s Tapas and Bar at Riverside Market. We asked owner Richard Castro about how he’ll be spending the Christmas period.
Rainbow glass-blown lampshades, Estrella on tap and floral cane furniture transports you to South America at Castro’s Tapas and Bar at Riverside Market. Richard Castro came to New Zealand 14 years ago, working in the paragliding industry in Queenstown, but has known hospitality since he was a child. Living in Queenstown, he noticed that there was nothing on offer from South America, and so they opened the first Caribe Latin Kitchen. The developer then offered Richard a spot in the Little High Eatery in Christchurch. Having been at Little High for two years and looking to decide what to do next - he saw that no one was doing a Spanish bar with tapas in the city, and soon got the opportunity to be part of the Riverside Market which was set to be very busy. Last year Richard went to Europe to work for a few months in a Spanish restaurant to see what the reality was, and this informed how they decided to approach Castro’s.
Richard’s favourite part of Castro’s is the kitchen, and he’s in there as much as possible working on new menus and changing things up. We asked Richard about how he’ll be spending the Christmas period:
Eating and drinking:
I really like Little High, the way we managed to do so many different eateries in the same spot and you’re able to share between everyone, it’s a very unique place and I like that. I always order the BBQ!
Whisky Galore in Colombo St
Spot to spend time:
I’ve got two kids - they love Margaret Mahy playground, every time we drive past they want to stop.
Before I had kids I would go to the cinema at least once a week, and now I haven’t been in years. Things change so much when you have a family.
In South America we have special traditions, for us on Christmas day for the last few years (and this year) we get together with the community in Queenstown. We make a Venezuelan dish called hallaca. It’s basically a cornmeal dough filled with meat and a special salad. We all get together and everyone cooks one dish. This year for New Years we are staying here because we’re organising a big party with Kaiser Brew Garden.
I’m hoping to get to Christmas in the Park but the restaurant is fully booked so we will see!
Christmas Wish for the CBD:
More tourists, there are a lot of landlords and people working on making the city a great place, and I’m really proud to be one of them. If we can get people visiting here from other cities, that’s the next step.