Iconic Wellington café and bar the Matterhorn is being forced to close its doors in October, 54 years after they first opened. Damage done to the neighbouring Farmers store during the Kaikoura earthquake has meant that the building must now be strengthened, which will require Matterhorn to vacate the premises, although the developers said there are no plans to demolish the building entirely.
"For over 50 years, we've occupied this iconic position in Wellington, and finally the old girl is being forced into retirement,” said Matterhorn owner Sean Marshall. "We're a victim of Wellington's geology, unfortunately, but we're planning a huge celebration of everything we've been over the next three months.”
Since 1963, Matterhorn has been a Cuba St institution. Having passed through a number of hands, it was the reopening in 1997 that established its reputation as a wine bar. By twist of fate, the day of re-opening was the same day that climber Edward Whymper became the first person to scale its namesake in the Swiss Alps.
Matterhorn has played host to a number of celebrities over the years, including local icons like Shihad frontman Jon Toogood, as well as international stars such as jazz legend Louis Armstrong. Elijah Wood had his 21st birthday at Matterhorn, while filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s.