Eatery’s new owner

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The owner of Queenstown hospitality venues Brazz and The London has added Pier 19 to his plate.

Pete Jefford’s bought the Steamer Wharf restaurant from operators Karen and Grant Hattaway.

Jefford, who takes over August 1, says the location by the lake is “triple A-plus”.

“Having been in town 15 years, sites like this don’t come available too often.

“It fits into my expansion plans perfectly – two sizeable indoor venues, and now a sizeable indoor/outdoor venue.”

Jefford says he plans a few tweaks, “but ultimately it’s about getting to know the site and the trading opportunities, and continuing the good business that’s been built up”.

He’ll now have about 75 staff across three venues – “there’s opportunity to create opportunities for certain staff”.

Karen and Grant Hattaway have owned Pier 19 for 10 years.

Grant says the past four months have each set trading records – “it’s a good feeling to sell the business while it’s trading exceptionally well”.

He puts that down to Pier 19’s established reputation, Steamer Wharf now being regarded as “a serious hospitality precinct”, and the weather settling down.

He believes the restaurant has an excellent future “as we believe it’s the best site in Queenstown, especially during the peak summer season”.

Grant, who’s president of the Hospitality Association of New Zealand’s local branch, says the secret to success in “an extremely competitive” marketplace is “value for money, being consistent and giving good service”.

The Hattaways still own CBD restaurant Blue Kanu, and formerly owned Captain’s Restaurant for 13 years and Tatler, now Madam Woo, for three years.

Karen adds: “It’s time to breathe for a moment for Grant and myself and to plan future goals and work on other projects.”

A keen golfer, Grant says he also wants to play more golf – “my handicap is the highest it’s been in 30 years”.