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It’ll be the second Wahlburgers outlet in New Zealand — the chain’s first foray into Aotearoa opened in Auckland at the beginning of March.
Wahlburgers was founded by actor, rapper and entrepreneur Mark Wahlberg in 2011 with his brothers, Donnie — a member of 1980s boy band New Kids on the Block — and Paulie, the chef behind Wahlburgers’ menu.
The resort restaurant, beside Kingpin in the Upper Village on Brecon St, was meant to have opened about May, but Wahlburgers project manager Wayne Robinson, of Sydney, says construction was delayed due to a lack of shipping containers coming from China.
There’s room for about 60 people inside the restaurant, which is expected to open from 11am daily.
Wahlburgers marketing, product development and training manager Ashley Steriti, who’s based in Sydney, says key appointments have already been made, with recruitment of the rest of the team, to total up to 20 people, underway.
‘‘Sam [Mustaca], who runs the franchise out here in Australia and NZ … first went to Queenstown a bit over a year ago now.
‘‘He and his wife just fell in love with the place and they still, to this day, talk about wanting to retire to Queenstown.
‘‘They knew off the bat it was a great place for the brand, it has a great energy and is a great place to be … we are so excited.’’
Steriti says the plan is to bring Mark Wahlberg on a tour of all the Australasian venues, including Queenstown.
‘‘When we have conversations with him, he’s super-keen to get out to Australia and New Zealand.
‘‘I’ve worked with him for a long time now and he loves visiting venues, when his schedule allows him to.’’