Chez Eelco, at the top of Trafalgar Street, was arguably the most celebrated 'Coffee House' in New Zealand at one time. Opened in the 60's serving coffee to a tea-drinking nation, it had an iconic status in Nelson. In the years we've been in Nelson, the Cafe housed local arts, functioned as a Internet cafe, possibly the first in Nelson, and kept an international staff to cater to visitors from around the world.
Since the late-90's, with Eelco's retirement, two owners (one his daughter) tried to hold on to the legacy while modernizing the interior and the menu, but in 2004 it was sold to the current owners.
Founder Eelco Boswijk has been a tireless patron of arts and culture in Nelson, supporting the Wearable Arts show from its inception (more on this in the future), and we have seen at least three paintings/prints with the signature red-and-white stripped awning, parasols and table clothes. Eelco's own bust is soon to be erected, but the City Council and Nelsonians want it outside, the Ale House wants it inside.