Further top Auckland restaurants join growing list of temporary closures

Auckland’s top restaurants are increasingly shutting temporarily because of staff shortages caused by the Omicron outbreak.

The Oyster Inn on Waiheke Island, Ponsonby Rd’s Prego, The Grove on St Patrick’s Square, Ebisu, Hobsonville Point’s Little Creatures, Gemmayze St and several others have shut in the last few days.

Red restrictions have seen Lion make the decision to temporarily close its flagship Little Creatures where it had spent $20 million converting an old air force hangar into the beer hall, brewery, eatery and cocktail bar, which opened in 2019, employing around 100 staff.

Now, two further high-profile eateries have told customers they can’t stay open.

Peter Gordon’s Homeland in the Wynyard Quarter and Soul Bar and Bistro in the Viaduct said staff shortages due to the pandemic meant they couldn’t continue to operate.

“It was an incredibly hard decision, but such a simple decision, because there’s really no alternative,” Gordon said this week of his stylish eatery which also has a cooking school.

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Soul Bar indicated it was in much the same position.

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Prego was slightly ahead of those other two restaurants.

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A plea from the New Zealand Restaurant Association asks that more be done to assist the hospitality industry in managing instances of suspected covid cases among staff in an efficient manner.

“While the move to phase 3 is certainly helpful we are also aware that our industry employs a large number of younger people, many of whom are living in flatting situations and larger households,” said Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association.

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