Hollywood heavyweight Mark Wahlberg’s burger chain has opened its first South Island restaurant.
The Queenstown Wahlburgers is the second in the restaurant franchise in New Zealand after one opened in Auckland earlier this year. It is the 112th internationally.
The actor and entrepreneur founded Wahlburgers in 2011 with his brothers, New Kids on The Block star Donnie and, chef behind the menu, Paul Wahlberg.
Mark Wahlberg has yet to visit Queenstown but is promising to promote the store to his 50 million followers on his social media platforms.
“The universal feedback I have heard from friends that have visited New Zealand is that Queenstown is a must-see destination.
“The opening of our store in the adventure capital of the world is something we are immensely proud of, and I am looking forward to seeing it in person,” he said.
The new restaurant is in the Upper Village complex alongside large entertainment venue Kingpin, on the road near Skyline Gondola.
It is owned and operated by the Mustaca family, founders of United Cinemas, Australia’s largest independent cinema chain.
Chief executive Sam Mustaca said he planned to open five more stores, employing over 150 local staff, in New Zealand, over the next four years.
The first of the kiosk stores would open in the family’s cinema at the Bayfair Shopping Centre in Tauranga.
“As we approach our first peak summer trading period, we are confident of achieving solid and consistent revenues across Queenstown and our flagship Princess Wharf Auckland site.
“We want to open a critical mass of stores in New Zealand to achieve the required economies of scale and plan to open in all major cities across the country,” he said.