Open for Business: August Eatery
August Eatery was off to a rough start as it opened 2 weeks before lockdown in August 2021 but the new kid on the block quickly won the heart of Wellingtonians. Recognised for their creative and delicious food inspired by many cultures and homely and comfortable vibe, August Eatery became a local institution in less than a year in business. Read our interview with Lisa Lee, Co-Owner and Director of August.
August Eatery - 75 Taranaki Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Lisa Lee and Tanase Antipas
Tell us about yourself: Tanase and I are from completely different backgrounds brought together because of our passion for food; he’s a Wellington hospitality veteran and a genius when it comes to flavours which shows in our seasonal menus. He’s also our Head Chef working day in day out to create the delicious meals that leave our kitchen. I, on the other hand, have spent the last 15 years in the Advertising industry living between Australia and New Zealand and jumped back into hospitality when I realized there was an opportunity to create something fresh for the Wellington scene. At August, I manage business operations and you’ll occasionally see me on the floor supporting our awesome Front of House team led by our manager Sophie.
Tell us what makes you special? I think our food, customer service and overall vibe makes us special. Our food, whether it be coffee, cabinet or meals are served by our team who are there to create the August experience.
This focuses on opportunities to create great customer experiences paired with delicious food even if it’s just a coffee, in a cool looking space.
What support would you love to see from your guests? We’ve been humbled by the on-going support of Wellingtonians since we opened 2 weeks before lockdown last year but would love to see more of our guests visiting us mid week. Our weekends seem to be our busiest and while we operate an efficient waitlist there are still limitations with socially distanced seating available which means we end up disappointing some of our larger groups which is not what we want. We’d love for everyone to be able to come in and enjoy August to the fullest!
What are the favourites on your menu? We’re lucky to live in a country with such a large variety of fresh seasonal produce so we aim to add new seasonal dishes to the menu every 3 months which our customers love. Our signature dishes are the Istanbul Eggs and Tsoureki French Toast which are definitely a crowd favourite though! They’re two dishes that aren’t commonly found in Wellington and inspired by Tanase’s Mediterranean background.
Where are you picking up lunch/dinner/brunch when you're off work? We are spoilt for choice in Wellington so this is a tricky one! On our day off, we usually head to Floriditas. You really can’t go past their Green Eggs ‘n Ham, which is usually followed by a coffee at Customs by Supreme Coffee or Neo Cafe and a wander over to Grace Patisserie for Wellington’s best almond croissants. If we’re after something light, you’ll find us at Squirrel for a serving of their crumpets which are served with a variety of toppings. If you’re out that way it’s only fair to go into Small Acorn for abit of retail therapy and pick up some sweet scented flowers from Twig & Arrow too.
If you’re wanting to go for abit of a drive Twenty Eight in Lower Hutt and Dough out in Upper Hutt are goodies too.
For Dinner, we love heading over to Capitol, Kate and Chef Tom create the perfect food & wine match, Field & Green for the Chef's Bar experience and of course Highwater, the detail in every dish is phenomenal and Chef Alric is a culinary artist. We really are blessed to have some very talented chefs in Wellington.
Any quotes or thoughts you want to share? The Wellington hospitality scene is as inter-dependent as it is independent so we need to all get through this together. Since day one, Tanase and I have had our family, friends, people in the industry and complete strangers cheer us on. It has been the most humbling and gratifying experience and from our first encounter of lockdown as new business owners till today, we continue to push on driven by something as simple as “You’ve got this!” We’ve got a small collective of venues who are banding together to help where they can with staff shortages, extra shifts or just a space to talk about what’s going on so feel free to reach out. You’ve got this Wellington Hospo!