Award-winning Wellington restaurant Shepherd, co-owned by Shepherd Elliot and Sean Golding, will shut its doors on November 26, according to its Facebook page.
“The restaurant world changes continuously. Culinary moods ebb and flow and to remain at the top of one’s game and be consistent and excellent requires enormous effort and passion, without these it becomes very difficult to maintain the high standards one strives for,” the Facebook post announced.
“Today we announce the closure of our beloved Shepherd Restaurant, a sad but essential end to our story. It’s been a cracker journey for us with so many great memories and achievements and we will never underestimate what this restaurant did and meant for us personally and professionally.”
Elliot and Golding said on social media they have strived to provide their neighbourhood with a restaurant showcasing all the fantastic produce that New Zealand has to offer over the past seven years.
“We have met thousands of wonderful customers, so many passionate producers and suppliers, and collaborated with dozens of highly talented people.”
The former owner of Ti Kouka Cafe in Wellington, Shepherd Elliot later opened Leeds Street Bakery where he became friends with Sean Golding of the next door Golding’s Free Dive.
The pair saw an opportunity to open their own restaurant, called Shepherd, when another neighbourhood building became free, spending six months renovating it themselves. Since then this progressive, contemporary restaurant and vibrant staff have cleaned up numerous awards. The food focus is on casual but high quality, with the venison tataki with walnuts, honey truffle dressing, becoming a notable offering.
Elliot and Golding hoped their customers had enjoyed themselves at the restaurant as much as they had and they thanked their loyal staff.
“To all our staff past and present, you have been the engine room to this culinary machine and have contributed so much to the success of Shepherd. It’s culture was built around you, with you and we are infinitely in your debt, thank you.”
Wellington Chamber of Commerce CEO, Simon Arcus has said Shepherd was a really innovative and high-quality restaurant, the sort that is prized in Wellington.
“It’s sad to see it closing down as these types of restaurants are important for a dynamic city and to attract tourists.”
Arcus said it was no secret that the hospitality sector is struggling, especially in the higher end of the market, amidst a cost of living crisis.
“I think restaurants, and particularly high-end restaurants, are a little bit of a canary in the coalmine about costs, as people are cutting back their discretionary spend.”