Josh Clark and Katie Ellwood have travelled the world working in hospitality - from Michelin starred restaurants, to Caribbean cruise-lines to little corner cafes, but it’s Dunedin they call their home. That’s because the local lifestyle can’t be beaten for a family with little kids,
they claim, plus Dunedin is secretly packed with lovers of good food, beer and wine (just like them).
Owner-operators of three Dunedin businesses; Ombrello’s Kitchen and Bar on Clarendon St and Chamber of Coffee - just off the Octagon and at Dunedin Airport. Ombrello’s, a Dunedin institution they took over and re-established as a vibrant craft-beer restaurant four years ago, is the 'mother-ship', but the Chamber of Coffee establishments also play a huge part of their business.
“The airport cafe especially is a huge challenge” says Josh. “It’s eye-wateringly busy, and consistency and quality is something we truly work hard to deliver under those conditions.”
“Ombrellos, though, is definitely a labour of love. We set out trying to make the kind of place we’d want to go out to, along with our kids, and slowly but surely we’ve got there over the years. We truly believe we have an awesome craft beer range and our menus are fantastic. And we’re thrilled and proud our exceptional head chef Steve remains with us after four years of hard graft.”
Josh and Katie love that Ombrello’s is a bit quirky and not entirely perfect. “It’s a couple of old buildings and you have to go with that” Katie says “plus we have the courtyard which is a truly gorgeous summer spot.
“We’re pretty relaxed - it’s not unusual to see a group of doctors drinking with the local roading crew, a long line-up of muddy mountain bikes and one of the regular’s well-behaved dogs inhabiting the courtyard at the same time. It adds to the character.”
When they go elsewhere in town, it’s to the places they know are consistently great with Lexie and Tristin, their two kids - No.7 Balmac, and Nichols for example. Plus anywhere serving great coffee like Strictly Coffee (who they’ve partnered with for seven years) and Common Ground Espresso in the Strathallan Estate.
Katie & Josh are nailing the Dunedin hospo scene. Awesome to see locals investing back into the city.
Try the halloumi. Either by itself or added to a dish we can promise you it will be the best halloumi you've ever had.
Big smiles on our faces. Thanks, Ombrellos.
To find out more information about Ombrellos visit www.facebook.com/OmbrellosKitchenAndBar