The owner of Saggio di Vino, one of Christchurch’s premier fine-dining establishments, is looking to sell or close the business within the next two months, citing a difficult hospitality environment.

“It’s got tough in Christchurch,” said David Napier, who started at Saggio di Vino as sous chef before taking over the business in 2016. “I’d like to stay on, but I’m spending all my time between the kitchen and front of the house serving and pairing wine choices. I don’t have time for marketing let alone a private life.”

The restaurant is in the redeveloped Victoria Street area near the north of Hagley Park, which was damaged in the 2011 earthquake but has since been re-established as a dining and entertainment precinct. Napier claimed that the number of older clients had declined over the years, and there were no young professionals coming through to fill the gaps.

“I would be sad to see this place go as I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it, just like all restaurateurs.”

The restaurant still has two years to run on its lease, which will cause issues should a sale not occur, but Napier is firm in his decision to close the venue.