Happy Days – American Diner in NZ


Located in the heart of the sleepy rural township of Oxford, just north of Christchurch, the 1950’s themed Cruisy Days Diner is brainchild of local Kimm Moore, who wanted to create a place in the local community for families to go – somewhere fun to take the whole family out for a meal, or for the kids to hang out after school. Together with husband Bruce, they set out to bring this dream into reality.

Old fashioned inspiration

“The inspiration came to me in the middle of the night and grew from there,” says Kimm. “For us, the 1950’s harks back to a special time where people mattered and family values were important. We’ve tried to bring those principles through in our Diner as our number one goal, through our team, and hopefully that carries through to the hospitality we provide for all our guests who walk through the door.”

When it came to fitting out her new Diner, it was really important for Kimm to work with local businesses and support the local community as much as she could. “We’d heard that Millbrook Kitchens in Rangiora (Mastercraft Kitchens North Canterbury) had a really good reputation, and so we talked to them about what we were trying to achieve,” she says. “They were excited about what we were trying to achieve and managed to grasp our vision pretty quickly.”

Creating an authentic American Diner

Kimm wanted her new Diner to be the real deal, so authenticity, attention to detail, and a high standard of finish were at the top of her list – so much so that she imported all the furniture from the USA, built to her specifications, from a company called Heffron’s Retro Design, who acted as the agent for Vitro – one of the largest manufacturers of retro 1950’s Diner furniture in the USA. “We even bought a brand new Rock-ola Jukebox from California,” she says.

High gloss finishes helps bring diner to life

Larissa Breukelaar from Mastercraft Kitchens North Canterbury says that Kimm had a very clear idea of the look she wanted when she first came into the showroom. “She wanted a high gloss finish to the cabinetry. It also had to match the black, white and red colour scheme in the rest of the diner,” she says. “The high gloss acrylic finish almost creates a mirror effect and looks fantastic in the space – and the Formica benchtops (in Carnaval) look incredible against the black cabinetry and mint walls.”

Team effort

“Nick Firkin, our project manager from Millbrook was also brilliant,” says Kimm. “He came up with the idea of the mirrored toekick with the LED striplights – it’s exactly what I wanted. It makes the cabinetry appear to float over the chequered black-and-white floor, and I love that.”

Mastercraft Kitchens North Canterbury supplied Cruisy Days Diner with all its front-of-house cabinetry, including the workstation, built-in sink and shelving behind the ice cream counter, the hard-working barista area, and the tiny Hostess counter where Kimm welcomes in her guests.

Visit Cruisy Days Diner on Facebook.

Proudly designed, manufactured and installed locally by Mastercraft Kitchens North Canterbury.