Carl Nicolson doesn’t really want to sell his world-famous restaurant but if someone buys it he will.
Running the diner since 2016, Nicolson made world and national news when he offered the Gotham Challenge in his first year. At the time named the Central Licensed Cafe, before rebranding in June 2020, it was to be the first of a number of high-profile challenges at the restaurant that gained attention.
Nicolson was somewhat philosophical when talking to Stuff about putting the eatery on the market.
“Everything is for sale,” he said.
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The Gotham Challenge, involved eating what was dubbed New Zealand’s largest burger, and weighing 2 kilograms, containing 1kg of minced chuck steak, 350grams of bacon, 350g cheese plus lots of salad within 400g of ciabatta bread, within 30 minutes.
There were a number of successful eaters and many fails.
Nicolson said the competition was “phenomenally successful” and they continue to do such things.
As well as rebranding last year, there was a renaming to Q Foods and restructure from 14-hour days to dropping the breakfast trade and opening from 10am to 8pm instead.
“There was no point operating the way it was, so we changed tack. We made more items, reduced a few and did online delivery ordering.”
The business also diversified by adding gourmet pizzas to the menu, the pizza’s base made on the premises with hand-stretched dough. The introduction doubled the size of the kitchen.
In the next few weeks, Nicolson will introduce home-cooked and delivered meals which he said will be good for the elderly, single and shift workers.
As for the sale, Nicolson said there had been some interest with potential buyers wanting it “at a bargain” price.
He did not want to share publicly what has prompted the decision to sell but said he planned to stay in Geraldine and grow food instead of making and serving it.