Long-serving Wellington cafe Espressoholic has closed after more than three decades of serving everyone from “prime ministers to bums”.
In a statement, liquidator Jessica Kellow, a BDO business recovery and insolvency partner, said the business made the “difficult decision” to close its doors on February 22.
The company had struggled as a result of the Covid-19 trading restrictions last year, Kellow said.
Fuelling caffeine lovers since the late 1980s, Espressoholic opened at a time when espresso coffee was the exception in Wellington rather than the rule.
Leighton Dunlop owned and operated the business for over 30 years, selling it two years ago.
“It’s sad to see it go after 30 years. They tried to make it go upmarket which it never was. It’s a grunge cafe,” he said.
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In its glory days it would have stayed open well into the night attracting a wide variety of colourful customers.
“We’ve had everyone through our doors, from prime ministers to bums,” Dunlop said in 2009 .
Espressoholic survived nearly closing in 2009 after it was evicted from its previous location in Courtenay Place and there was controversy in 2018 when it was found to have been in breach of employment rules and fined.
Crown Commercial director David Grant confirmed new tenants were being sought for the Cuba St premises.
“The space is empty, the business has left. But all the amenities are in place. We are expecting strong interest in the popular location,” Grant said.
Owner Bhupinder Singh could not be reached for comment.