Hospitality Business Magazine

Odd Saint bistro brings new life to Queenstown

The fabulous food, divine drinks and thoughtful service Future Hospitality Group is known for will be front and centre at its new Queenstown venue opening this week.  

The unusually-named ‘Odd Saint’, in homage to its location alongside St Peter’s Church in the heart of the resort town, has arisen in a spot that housed a much-loved locals café run by previous owners for the past 20 years.  

The fully renovated premises has been given a new lease of life and opens today ( December 15), in Earl Street, on a sunny north-facing spot that’s surrounded by the trees and botanicals gracing the adjacent gardens. 

As the name suggests, Odd Saint embodies a unique spin on the more standard brunch spot. The eclectic menu delivers ‘global soul food’, inspired by travels undertaken by new owners James Ace and Bert Haines along with co-owners Matt Tobin and wife Jamie Orr-Tobin, and “injecting” those experiences into the food.

Global soul food features on the menu at new bistro Odd Saint in Queenstown.

“We’re long-term locals who love hospo and eat and drink out a lot,” says James. “Queenstown has plenty of great cafés but we felt there was an opportunity to push the boundaries beyond standard staples.   

“So we decided to be a little bit brave, a little bit cheeky and bring a menu to the table that’s a little bit odd!”  

That fun and playful nature translates to dishes such as Hangtown Fry, a nod to California gold mining days and a version of the classic Kiwi big breakfast. A tasty Clau’s spiced granola also features alongside Po’Boys, a Louisiana meat or fried seafood sandwich, or Duck Fried Rice.  

Their whimsical drinks list highlights the best of local wines and beers accompanied by delicious international drops and reimagined cocktails. Each cocktail is a creative play on the Odd Saint name and location, inspiring drinks like Bibiana’s Cure (a bloody Mary), and a coffee-based sangria fittingly named Drogo’s.  

If it’s coffee you’re after, a custom bright yellow La Marzocco spins its magic with coffee from Auckland roasters eighthirty and New Zealand-owned Webster’s loose leaf teas are also on the menu.    

Executive chef Matt Tobin’s inspiration comes not only from his travels but his Midwest US background, delivering what he calls a “finer diner” menu with an elevated twist.   

The fitout is designed by Studio Collective to create a light and bright bistro style interior paired with an aesthetic that is vibrant and welcoming. Lush outdoor garden seating is perfect for long afternoon tipples in the sun, and as an added bonus it’s also dog friendly.  

Introducing new bistro Odd Saint to Queenstown are (L to R) Sara Maurer, Anton Waldon and co-owners Jamie Orr-Tobin, Bert Haines, Matt Tobin and James Ace.

Studio Collective’s creative director Jennifer Warring says the space needed to cater for a quick ‘drop in’ for brunch or a long lunch and lent itself to trade effortlessly throughout the day.  

“Odd Saint has a vintage vibe with a mid-century modern allure seen in elements like the burnt red finger tiles forming the curved bar top and frosted, brass globe pendants highlighting the bar and servery,” she says. 

Sipping a beautifully handcrafted cocktail at a textural bar top adds another layer to the Odd Saint experience. 

The melting pot of dishes and flavours is only matched by the food-centric personalities on staff who delight in delivering a friendly and uniquely personalised service to ensure guests feel at home.   

The venue will open from 7am to 3pm with plans to expand into evening service next year. It seats 60 people comfortably inside and the outside dining area caters for approximately another 50.  

Future Hospitality Group’s Odd Saint is the third venue it has opened this year alongside cocktail bar Little Mez and Scandinavian-inspired ice lounge Queenstown Ice Bar.   

Earlier this year the team took home the Excellence in People and Culture award at the 2022 Hospitality NZ Awards and its lakeside bar Little Blackwood won New Zealand’s Best Bar. It also operates Minus 5° ICE Bar and Mexican-inspired restaurant Margo’s.