Appointment means closure will be limited

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Re prieve...Mataura Licensing Trust gen eral manager Mark Paterson is pleased he has signed up a new head chef which means the Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room should only be closed on December 19 for about a month. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

There is some good news and not so good news for Gore’s Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room patrons.

Last month the Mataura Licensing Trust, which owns the restaurant, made the decision to limit the opening hours of the restaurant due to a staffing shortage.

Since the beginning of December the restaurant has been open from Thursday to Sunday.

At the time, trust general manager Mark Paterson said unless more staff were found, it would close on December 19.

Yesterday Mr Paterson said while the restaurant would close on December 19 he had hired a head chef, Nazeem Khan, which meant it could reopen in late January.

He was very pleased Mr Khan had signed on.

“He’s outstanding.

“He would be by far and away the best head chef the trust has ever employed in terms of ability.

“It’s great news.”

Now Mr Paterson had a head chef he would look for the rest of the team which included a manager, assistant manager and sous chef.

“It’s positive moving forward.”

The business would be closed for about a month.

“This is a hiatus it’s gone into.”

There was talk about the town the Thomas Green would close permanently but that was never going to happen, he said.

MLT president Horace McAuley said it was very good news the restaurant would re-open in January.

“We always hoped it would be a short shutdown and this certainly answers all those prayers.”

It would have been impossible to reopen the restaurant without a head chef.

“To be able to contract Nazeem is a real win for us.”