Long-Running Ponsonby Restaurant to Close Doors Temporarily

Ponsonby Rd foodie institution, Prego restaurant, has closed for 10 days, saying it has lost so many staff to Covid regulations that it cannot trade.

In a social media post signed by manager Brandon Lela’ulu​, the restaurant said it had “no choice but to close temporarily.

“We’ve felt frustrated and helpless, watching Omicron getting rapidly closer,” the post went on. “We are committed to giving The Full Prego experience and without all our people this is not currently possible.”

Prego has been operating from the same site since 1986. In normal conditions it serves lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

In the Instagram post, Lela’ulu said Prego had “[sacrificed] our warm and welcoming brand to follow government mandates and restrictions” since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our team have worked hard to ensure Prego remains a comfortable haven that is safe and familiar, far from the broken world outside,” he wrote. “Thanks to each one of you for remaining loyal and positive.”

Prego’s neighbour, Thai restaurant Saan, closed permanently earlier this month, citing “staffing shortages and other Covid-related challenges”. The restaurant had been open for seven years.

“As soon as we ended up with a community outbreak, sales dropped so dramatically, that our other businesses propping Saan up could no longer do that,” owner Krishna Botica​ said at the time.

Two of her Britomart restaurants, Ghost Street and Cafe Hanoi, remained open, but the third, Xuxu Dumpling Bar, is set to close at the end of this month.