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Café Bleu

Also known as: Zetland Hotel, Zetland Arms, New Zetland Hotel

Location: 88 Cashel Street, Central Christchurch

Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Current Status: Demolished Post-Earthquake, site is currently part of the Container Mall

Active as a live music venue: 1970’s – 2000’s

Bar Manager: –



Capacity: –

All-Ages: No

On the site of one of the original Hotels opened in Christchurch, the Zetland Hotel was a popular bar, night club and music venue through the boom years of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Cafe Bleu, January 2011 (from Kete Christchurch / Wikipedia)

The Hotel has a long and bizarre history, well documented on Stephen Symons’ literary pages.

With new proprietors the Hotel was renamed Cafe Bleu in 1990 and continued to operate as a venue, though by the late 1990’s this primarily meant regular covers acts.


  • 1862 Original Hotel on the site – known as Parkers’ Hotel was built.
  • 1865 Parkers’ Hotel becomes Zetland Arms Hotel.
  • 1888 Zetland Arms stable horseman William Harding dies after being kicked by a stabled horse.
  • 1901 Original building destroyed by fire.
  • 1902 New Zetland Hotel opens on old site.
  • 1921 Frank McAtavey falls to his death from an upstairs bathroom window.
  • 1973 M Mummery and D Robinson convert the Zetland Hotel into a nightclub.
  • 1990 The Zetland becomes Cafe Bleu.
  • 2011 Cafe Bleu is heavily damaged in the Canterbury Earthquake, with the external brick wall collapsing. The build is later demolished and replaced (at least temporarily) by the Container Mall.

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