Steak house to open in December

A steak restaurant similar to one in Auckland will open early December in the Sofitel building and those behind it are both "looking forward to the challenge" and confident another success story will be written.

The Jervois Steakhouse Queenstown is part of the Nourish Group's portfolio of restaurants, which include the Auckland Jervois Steak House, Shed 5 in Wellington and Bistro Lago in the Hilton Lake Taupo.

The restaurant will be off the beaten track of Shotover St, but the Nourish Group chief executive Richard Sigley said with experience came confidence.

"Queenstown has a lot of restaurants and bars and people have always said 'Why are you going into that area?' ... but it's a natural move," Mr Sigley said.

"Queenstown is arguably the most international city in New Zealand. Hopefully we can add value to the whole dining experience of Queenstown"

Internal building work in the restaurant, which will include an oyster bar, is on track and job-seekers are jostling for a position, with around 70 interviewed two weeks ago to fill 20 full- and part-time positions.

"It was a fantastic turnout - we employed about five or six from that straight away."

Before opening the Auckland steak house he said "about 50" steak restaurants in the United States were visited by the Nourish Group.

He believed the group was the first in the country to invest in a specialised cooker which slow roasts steak for up to nine hours, though other restaurants may have bought the cooker since.

While the Auckland steak house had a "proven formula", Queenstown's version would have a "South Island twist" with as much produce and wine as possible being sourced from the surrounding area.

The Auckland restaurant was popular with tourists, who often asked if the company operated a similar restaurant in Queenstown, Mr Sigley, who was born in Oamaru, said.

Masterchef TV show judge Simon Gault is a shareholder, though Mr Sigley said "given his [Gault's] commitments to Masterchef, we don't see him a lot".

Mr Sigley said it was intended cooking classes would be held in the restaurant to help the community.