The end has come for Auckland restaurant Cin Cin on Quay, host to classy dinners on the waterfront since the late 1980s.

The restaurant, in the Ferry Building, was yesterday boarded off behind construction barriers, through which passersby could hear the sound of sledgehammers.

Luis Farac started the restaurant in the late 1988 - together with his brother Tonci Farac and chef Warwick Brown - before selling it to J.P. Singh about 10 years ago.

Cin Cin on Quay was among the first restaurants to feature an open kitchen and a wood-burning pizza oven, and was famous for its smoked chicken salad.


It quickly became an institution for the city, attracting prominent Aucklanders, including for a 20th anniversary gathering in 2008.

Luis Farac said he did not know why the restaurant was closing, but it was a tough business climate with increasing competition.

"All good things come to an end at some time or another, but it was wonderful," he said.

"It was one of the most beautiful looking restaurants, and the food was great."

Mr Farac owns other restaurants in Auckland, including Wildfire on Princes Wharf.

The restaurant will be replaced by Botswana Butchery, a pair of restaurants operating in Queenstown and Wanaka. general manager Karen Gibson said Botswana Butchery was highly regarded and would be great to see in Auckland.

"Cin Cin on Quay has been an establishment in Auckland - it's been phenomenal," Ms Gibson said.

"From our perspective, we're excited to see a fresh place come in - especially Botswana Butchery - and see how the Auckland public enjoys it."

Quay St has been designated to possibly become a pedestrian-friendly shared space, similar to Britomart and Wynyard Quarter. The restaurant would sit at the centre of such a space if the council's draft plan for the waterfront takes that path.

The owners of Botswana Butchery, the Good Group, were unavailable to comment until next week.

Mr Singh could not be reached.