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Hollywood heavyweight Mark Wahlberg’s new restaurant in Queenstown has opened and is set to boost the town’s international profile.
Wahlburgers is the fastest-growing burger chain in North America, and the 60-seat Queenstown store is the franchise’s 112th to open globally.
The company has also signalled ambitious expansion plans with new kiosk store formats and a site in every major city throughout New Zealand.
The actor and entrepreneur founded Wahlburgers in 2011 with his brothers New Kids on The Block star Donnie and chef behind the menu Paul Wahlberg.
The Queenstown launch was promoted to more than 50 million followers on the star’s social media platforms — and is set to provide a significant boost to the country’s global visibility.
The opening of the restaurant will also benefit South Island food producers, growers from Otago and Canterbury having been selected to provide tonnes of fresh produce to the chain. The restaurant is beside Kingpin in the Upper Village in Brecon St.
Mark Wahlberg said visiting Queenstown had always been on his wish list.
He said a breakfast menu would also be introduced, including a breakfast burger and bacon and egg roll, at the chain’s newest branch in the coming weeks.
"The universal feedback I have heard from friends that have visited New Zealand is that Queenstown is a must-see destination," he said.
"The opening of our store in the adventure capital of the world is something we are immensely proud of and I am looking forward to seeing it in person."
When the Herald visited on opening day, hamburgers were priced around the $20 mark and fries were around $7.
The restaurant also serves salads, chicken wings, crispy calamari, meatballs and R18 alcohol-laced milkshakes.
Wahlberg said the company would also introduce new menu items in the coming weeks: a breakfast burger and a bacon and egg roll.
“Kiwi customers can expect a dining experience which is all about food, family and fun where we share my family’s delicious recipes brought to life by my brother Chef Paul,” Wahlberg said.