Hospitality Business Magazine

Jimmy Hickey’s Airspresso touches down in Queenstown

Colourful TV One weather presenter and pilot Jim Hickey and successful restaurateur and coffee specialist Craig Macfarlane are launching their successful award-winning Airspresso café at Queenstown Airport in July.


Jim Hickey at Airspresso in New Plymouth

Hickey and MacFarlane have already established the winning Airspresso brand at New Plymouth Airport and Hickey says the combination of creative quality fare, superb espresso coffee, aviation memorabilia, and stories of local aviators has proved a winning formula.

At just 41, Macfarlane owns a cluster of restaurants, cafes, bars and a boutique hotel. His internationally recognised Ozone Coffee Roasters has branches in New Plymouth and London with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver among its clientele.

The existing Queenstown Airport café, which closed at the end of April, is being completely gutted and redeveloped by the pair at considerable expense to create Airspresso Queenstown. It will feature an open theatre-style kitchen, café seating for 115 people, a full bar and lounge areas.

The emphasis will be on fresh, local quality ingredients on Airspresso’s a la carte menu and from its counter food and ‘Grab & Go’ service. Day-to-day operations will be run by business partners Karyn Grant, Justin Bird and Birthe ‘B’ Svendheim. Bird and Svendheim co-own Joe’s Garage café Queenstown with Macfarlane, Hickey and Grant, and will apply a wealth of international hospitality experience.