Wānaka Sun       

A farewell ode to Ode

Posted at 2:45pm Thursday 02 Sep, 2021

The last supper is a matter of days away for Wānaka restaurant Ode.  Owner Lucas Parkinson's “roller coaster” ride at the helm was supposed to end on August 31.


But his time there, which has included a rebuild after a fire and going through the 2020 Covid lockdown, was extended by another week–thanks to Covid, and a swift arrangement struck with the new owners.


Ode is serving takeaways through to Saturday – and on Sunday Lucas will be able to put his feet up and enjoy family life with partner Larissa and their 10-year-old daughter.


He penned a farewell to customers last weekend... “I respect that the world's got more problems and it's much bigger, but life is relative I've figured,” he wrote. 


“We were looking forward to sending Ode off in style, celebrating her beauty, success, resilience and our stead fast commitment to supporting and promoting local ethical produce and organics.”


The tactical move to buy in bulk to prepare for the last hurrah was scuppered by Covid – turnover will be down $1,000,000 as a result.


“It's frustrating to say the least, but I understand what's going on,” he added.


He leaves confident that Ode's next life under new owners and name will be superbly managed by “two ambitious Kiwi chefs” ... “I think they'll do fantastic food.”


Ode employed a team of 10 and with five years completed, Lucas announced in early July that the strain of running the award-winning restaurant had caught up with him.


This week he was reflecting on the giant strides the hospitality industry had taken in recent years, but also on the fact that costs had risen far more quickly than the price of a main course.


From Sunday he'll be on the other side of the counter, enjoying family time.




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