Iconic waterfront venue Soul Bar has been added to the Nourish Group stable. Nourish will take ownership of Soul Bar and Bistro from March 1, after purchasing the premises from Judith Tabron and Eric Watson’s Cullen Investments.

“Soul has long been one of Auckland’s top restaurants, and we’re looking forward to it continuing its reign. We have three fantastic restaurants on Princes Wharf and adding Soul to the group means we can serve even more diners on the city’s waterfront,” said Nourish Group chief executive Richard Sigley.

The purchase by Nourish Group, which already boasts Euro, The Culpepper, Jervois Steak House in Auckland and Pravda, Shed 5 and The Crab Shack in Wellington, marks a return for former chef Gareth Stewart. Stewart left Soul in 2015 to take up the position of executive chef at Nourish, and will now oversee his old restaurant.

Tabron will stay on at Soul for 90 days after the handover date, and is confident that her restaurant will be in good hands. “I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved at Soul, but the time seems right to pass on the mantle, and I’m confident that it has found the best possible home with the Nourish Group,” she said.

Soul has long been a hangout for the rich and famous, with famous guests including Jay Z and Beyonce, Bono, Charlize Theron and Anthony Hopkins.