Auckland’s iconic Soul Bar is on the market for the first time since 2001. The restaurant, co-owned by Judith Tabron and businessman Eric Watson through his Cullen Investments, has consistently been among the best performing hospitality destinations in New Zealand.
"It's been a good run. Let somebody else have some fun," said Tabron. “You've got to make a decision at some point in time." Tabron said it felt like a good time to sell, although she would miss the team and the “incredibly loyal following of customers.”
Watson would not respond to requests for comment but the sale of Soul follows his selling off of a number of his New Zealand-based assets, including his multi-million dollar Karaka estate and soon the Warriors NRL team.
Over the past 17 years, Soul Bar has emerged as one of New Zealand’s most successful venues. It wone the Best Restaurant category in 2009, 2010 and 2012 at the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence, as well as the Supreme Award in 2010. It was also listed in Metro magazine’s Top 50 restaurants five times in six years between 2012 and 2017. The venue has played host to celebrities such as Bono, Scarlett Johansson, Russell Brand, Anthony Hopkins, Beyonce and Jay-Z.
The sale comes at an exciting time for the Auckland hospitality scene, in particular the Viaduct, with the Volvo Around the World Yacht Race boats, ever-expanding cruise ship capacity and the 2021 America's Cup. The property is being marketed by Paul Dixon of Bayleys.