a decent conversation with Scoundrel.

a decent conversation with Scoundrel.

Scoundrel is an edgy eastside eatery  operating out of  a converted warehouse in Christchurch. It's crowd-favourite soft tortilla tacos are bursting with vibrant, flavourful ingredients and are sure to satisfy.

We chatted with Scoundrel's Operations Manager, Lois about the veteran team behind the business, navigating the unpredictability of opening a new business, and the love of dogs and tacos.


First up, congratulations on the opening of Scoundrel! Can you tell us a bit about how this came about?

We were looking for the next project, following the success of our little cafe and wine bar six ounces in Merivale, and we were approached by a regular there who had a warehouse on the east side to convert. With a group of friends, all hospo vets with a hugely varied skill set, we decided to build the kind of space and offer we had always craved. Avi has been making small, street-style soft tortilla tacos with his Dad since he was a child and had always dreamed of putting them on the menu of his dream business. Our Exec Chef, Pedro, himself a very talented chef with a specialism in vegan cuisine, leapt on board and tailored a menu around the tacos which heroes vibrant veggies, bold flavours and a fantastic range of meat or vegan proteins. We have developed a really well-thought out drinks list of craft beers, tap and bottled wines and tap cocktails, which we pre-make to our recipe before kegging and chilling. Our Rad Roasting Co coffee is roasted on site by our Head Roaster, Shane. He is busy developing a range of roasts that will suit all taste-buds and caffeine tolerances, and we'll be selling beans and ground coffee retail on site and online as soon as we're up and running - hopefully by the end of February. We are obsessed with our dogs, so, like six ounces, it was a no-brainer to make the whole space dog-friendly inside and out.


We love that you use decent packaging products, what made you decide to use compostable packaging?

Hospitality is a really challenging area to make completely sustainable, while maintaining health and safety standards and managing the rising costs of pretty much everything. We were thrilled to find in decent, an affordable, high quality and aesthetically awesome product which meant we could minimise as much as possible the environmental impact of selling takeaway coffee in single-use cups.

Through the process of opening a new business, can you tell us the most important lesson(s) that  you have learnt? 

Expect things to go wrong and try and have a sense of humour about it when they do! Accept that there will be hidden costs all over the place that you didn't anticipate, but never lose sight of why you began in the first place.  Most importantly, surround yourself with an incredible team that you can be open and honest with, and with whom you are genuinely happy to spend 20 hours a day for nearly a year! You'll enjoy celebrating the opening together all the more if you do!



What’s your vision for the next 5 years?

To be honest, the world has become such a bonkers place of late that it feels almost impossible to really make a realistic long-term plan. We just want to be able to keep doing what we're doing for as long as possible and, so far, the support we've had from friends, whanau, and the Christchurch community has been so overwhelming. We feel very lucky and really hope Scoundrel is still going strong in 5 years' time - hopefully with plenty of trade from visitors to Te Kaha! 

You have some delicious food choices on your menu, which one is your favourite?

Tacos, tacos, tacos! They fly off our taco line at a rate of knots and once you start it's hard to stop, particularly with a whole hot sauce library to choose from. Personally, I am also a huge fan of the Flat Wrap on our daytime menu. Insider tip: have it with bacon as well as chargrilled chicken. It'll change your life.



If you could describe the atmosphere at Scoundrel in three words, what would you choose?

Laid-back, flavour-packed and moreish!

What are you most excited about for the future of Scoundrel?

The space is so big and versatile, so I am excited to see what kind of events, private and public, we can accommodate in the future. We are passionate about small, independent businesses so we would love to do collabs in the future, be they vintage clothes swaps, live radio shows, festivals with our neighbouring live music venues or dog-tastic community events, showcasing trainers and enrichment specialists.



Lastly, for those wanting to support, where can we find you?

We are at 375 St Asaph Street, between Barbados and Fitzgerald Ave. We are open 7 days a week, from 7am Monday to Friday, 8am Saturday and Sunday, all the way through until 10pm every night. We are morning coffee, breakfast meetings, lunch breaks, after-work drinks, dinner… the works! We can't wait to meet you all!

Website: www.scoundrel.nz / Instagram: scoundrel.nz


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