The restaurant was named after a mythological Duke ‘Carvell’ who was acclaimed to have found his way around the world, crossed the Mediterranean, and stayed temporarily in Australia and finally settled in New Zealand living a hedonistic lifestyle. Formally located at Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand, the Duke Carvell’s Swan Lane Emporium was established by the Bresolin Brothers, and was later sold to Michael Cole in July 2015.

Their Features

Their ambience was raffish, their meal was cheap and tasty and Monday nights were great for Night callers. The walls of the restaurant’s interior were underlined with a number of gorgeous faux- antique portraitures which was a European inspired brilliance. Duke Carvells offered alternative to home cooking with their four miniature plates of sumptuous meals for only $30; most customers preferred a mix of fat anchovies and grilled bread while others did strictly beverages. Their weekend brunch was also bait for their customers. Their team of professional chefs, waiters and waitresses were warm friendly people who often struck great conversations with the customers and made them feel at home. When one of the Bresolin Brothers was interviewed on why they came up with Duke Carvell’s restaurant idea, he said ‘I and my brother thought Wellington was missing a special kind of fine dining, a spot for a carnivorous night out and a steakhouse so we decided to set up a real charming restaurant’.

Why and How They Closed

The beginning of 2016 was clearly not rosy for the Duke Carvell business empire. Turnover declined drastically and the owner Michael Cole was forced to put the business on liquidation. The final report collated by the liquidators was a gross figure of $473,486. Liquidators confirmed that almost 50 debt claims were linked to Duke Carvells of which Kiwibank was owed the most with 35 other unsecured creditors. In their final report, Liquidators Iain Bruce Shephard and Jessica Jane Kellow wrote that the failure of the famous restaurant was associated with decrease in sales. They also revealed that Michael Cole’s main aim of acquiring the business was to maximize his experience in the hospitality industry and also his love for the Duke Carvell’s restaurant.

They continued, that even when drastic measures were made to minimise their staff cost in order to have an increment in sales, the business cash flow was still not sufficiently recovered which gradually disabled the business trade. This in turn caused the inability of the business to cover debts owed to preferential and secured creditors.

Short Financial Summary of the Liquidation Report

  • According to the report, Kiwibank claimed their debt accrued to $300,000 but received a distribution of $38,000.
  • The Inland revenue made a preferential claim to the liquidators at a tune of $50,000.
  • The report also stated that four employees totaled a claim of $11,000 while the others declined to laying claims.
  • A total of $108,426 claims put forward by 35 unsecured creditors.

Swan Lane premises was finally leased by the landlord to Noble Rot Wine Bar and the left assets were to the new tenants by the liquidators for $57,500.


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