By PHILIP CHANDLER
The owner of Queenstown’s Muskets and Moonshine restaurant/bar is hibernating his business to stop losing money.
Chris Buckley, who also owns the resort’s still-thriving Pub on Wharf, says ‘‘we don’t want to put ourselves in a position, while it’s quiet, that we dig such a big hole that we can’t pay people’’.
‘‘We can’t just keep throwing away food like we’ve been doing.
‘‘It’s just silly to keep operating.’’
Buckley, Hospitality New Zealand’s former Central Otago president, says he’ll consider reopening when the Aussie border opens.
He admits he’s fortunate Pub on Wharf can absorb Muskets staff — ‘‘no one’s losing any hours’’.
‘‘Pub’s going really nicely, people want to be near the water.’’
He’s noticed fewer Kiwis walking up Brecon Street, where Muskets is, to get to the gondola — ‘‘they’ll just drive up there’’.
Buckley’s hoping other operators, in these quiet times while overseas borders stay closed, also honestly look at what’s best for themselves and their staff.
‘‘It would be horrible to see staff not get paid their holiday pay or anything they’re owned because someone wasn’t being upfront about where they’re at.’’