Weddings safe despite Woodbox closure

Summer wedding bookings at one of the Waikato's most stunning venues, Coopers at Mystery Creek Wines, are understood to be safe despite the unexpected closure of the popular Woodbox restaurant on the site.

Woodbox, operated by Matt Cooper, has closed, to the surprise of Hamilton hospitality leaders who said it was highly successful.

The operators of Mystery Creek Wines, an idyllic 14-hectare vineyard and winery beside the Waikato River, refused to comment on the closure or the future of the function centre, and Mr Cooper could not be contacted.

But the Waikato Times has learned that Mr Cooper and associates are moving on from the Woodbox to other ventures after their five-year lease expired in December.

It is understood that Mystery Creek Wines will keep Coopers open, that Mr Cooper will cater for the 10 or so summer weddings for which he has accepted bookings, and that the Pumice Food Group, operators of Pumice, Ferrybank and the Hamilton Gardens restaurant, will take over the restaurant.

Coopers is a multi-million dollar development which has been open for under two years.

Companies Office records show the sole shareholder in Mystery Creek Wines is Auckland rich-lister Lynette Erceg, widow of liquor entrepreneur Michael Erceg. Mrs Erceg, who could not be contacted, is understood to be a silent partner.

Garry Major and Vicki Edwards, who own Major Investments, formerly known as Mystery Creek Wines, are directors of the company, and are understood to have established the vineyard.

Waikato Times