The Grand Plan

3 x 1 Hr

This fly-on-the-wall New Zealand documentary series follows a massive restoration project through four earthquakes, registering over 6 on the richter scale, to transform a dilapidated Christchurch heritage hotel into a 21st century gastropub.

Husband and wife restaurateurs Nick and Sarah, together with entrepreneurs Graham and Stephen, have a vision of a thriving family business featuring the best of New Zealand food & wine in a beautifully renovated historic building with the ultimate contemporary kitchen. Their Grand Plan for the Provincial Hotel survives the first of Canterbury's earthquakes but is shattered on February 22nd. The Grand Plan moves to Plan B as Nick and Sarah turn their attention back to the small but successful restaurant they had expected to leave behind. Determined to carry on, this husband and wife team rechannel their resources into rebuilding their original badly damaged restaurant in post-quake Lyttleton. With ongoing aftershocks, the birth of their second child, consent delays and insurance hassles the pressure is truly on as Nick and Sara battle, and succeed, to make their revised dream come true.

Ep 1. The Grand Plan for the Provincial Hotel gets underway despite being interrupted by Christchurch's 7.1 earthquake. Nick and Sarah sort their future kitchen and test the new menu while Graham and Stephen crunch the numbers and work closely with the builders to make sure the budget is tracking. The building is made safe and the real work can begin to bring their grand design to fruition.

Ep 2. The demo crew is only days away from the old hotel being strengthened and ready for the real build to begin when the magnitude 6.3 earthquake on February 2011 devastates Christchurch and brings the weakened Provincial hotel to her knees. Despite Steven Cohen's best efforts the building can not be saved. Nick and Sarah turn their attention to their original restaurant in Lyttleton which has been severely damaged.

Ep3. The aftershocks continue but Nick and Sarah keep working to get a bigger and better Freemans Restaurant re-opened in Lyttelton. They finally open on December 23rd 2011. Their insurance comes through five minutes before the 6.0 tremor strikes at 1.50 pm, and they start cooking pizzas in their new oven two hours later. By the end of January their hard work is paying off as the combination of their new layout and business model and the limited number of restaurants open in Christchurch means their turnover is twice what it was pre-earthquake.