The Jefferson

The Jefferson officially opened on 19 June. Owner Ofir Yudilevich came up with the concept in July last year, and the build started on 14 November 2014. Yudilevich was previously an executive chef here and overseas, including at the Sheraton, Langham, InterContinental, Ivy and Radisson Blu. He chose the space because it is underground, is a good size and good location. Yudilevich is originally from Ponsonby
He found the space through a friend’s uncle. It was just a basement before and wasn’t up for lease, he just took over. Yudilevich wanted something that sounded American, so named it after Thomas Jefferson, who was heavily involved in the production of whiskey.
The team consists of 15-20 staff. Yudilevich oversees two chefs, Luc Lignieres and Dave Fenwick. Paul Izzard designed the fit out, which features a whisky wall and a lush space with booths and many private sections. Yudilevich designed the menu, which features ribs as the core product, but on a weekly basis a poultry, seafood and steak special is offered. The stand out dish on the menu is the slow cooked ribs, with the options of beef, lamb or pork all proving to be popular with customers.
“The influence of the menu is bourbon and ribs, the two fastest growing segments of their markets,” Yudilevich said.