A fusion born of a shared love

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Sol Bar and Cafe has new owners; the United Kingdom’s Will Thompson and Canadian chef Shone Koo, and the pair say they have big plans for the Oneroa eatery, including a name change.

The island’s newest restaurateurs will rename the restaurant Nomads.

“We chose Nomads because that’s kind of who we both are,” says Shone. “We feel like people on Waiheke come from all over the world. You can travel and be from the opposite of the world and still make the island your home.”

When the couple heard the venue overlooking Oneroa Bay was for sale, they didn’t waste any time.

“Shone and I were on a walk when we heard from a friend that this place was available,” Will says, sitting in the café’s sunny dining room. “We spent the rest of the walk talking about it so decided to go for it and put an offer in.” 

Shone had been working as a chef on superyachts in Auckland for the last nine years, while Will was the general manager for four years at Oneroa eatery Fenice.

The couple met nine months ago. The attraction was instant and they moved in together and started dreaming about the future.

Shone says they have big plans for the business. In the next few months, they will make plenty of interior and exterior changes to the property.

“We know the restaurant already has a lot of loyal customers, and we really care about the community; that’s why we wanted to do this as well. We’re both long-term hospitality workers and we wanted to create an environment that treats our team well,” says Shone.

The menu will go through some changes, too, says Shone. “We’re trying to go for more fusion, more ethnic food and keep it simple,” she says. • Silvia Massa

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