Chapel Bar owner slams HeadQuarters' Leo Molloy for 'puerile and provocative behaviour'

An Auckland bar owner has rebuked controversial hospitality character Leo Molloy for his continued attack on other Auckland establishments, asking for some "calm and professionalism" in his behaviour.

Luke Dallow, owner of Ponsonby Sunday stalwart Chapel Bar and Bistro, penned an open letter on his Facebook page on Wednesday, "on behalf of operators both large and small", to the owner of HeadQuarters in the Viaduct. 

Earlier this week, Molloy slammed Peter Gordon's fine dining restaurant The Sugar Club in a Facebook post, calling it a "god awful restaurant" and asking if there had "ever been bigger wankers in hospo".

The attack came after The Sugar Club, located on level 53 of the Sky Tower, announced a new low-carbon menu.

The move triggered Molloy to add: "When you live in a city that demands a certain amount of wankerage (new word) if you are to make an impression you tend to develop a certain tolerance for posers and tossers, even those from Ponsonby and Grey Lynn.

"But surely this tripe from The Sugar Club exceeds all reasonable levels of 'self-pleasuring' and should come with an obligatory box of tissues."

In his open letter today, Chapel Bar owner Dallow says he applauds Molloy on being a "well respected industry leader" and for "coming back from the ashes" of his last hospitality stint.

"But why on earth do you continue to insult fellow industry establishments and operators who are doing their best, and succeeding, in providing Auckland with a vibrant and professional hospitality scene?" he adds.

Chapel Bar owner slams HeadQuarters' Leo Molloy for 'puerile and provocative behaviour'
Photo credit: Facebook.

He also pointed out it's not the first time the controversial character has "indulged in this puerile and provocative behaviour".

Dallow told Newshub on Wednesday "there is just no need for [Molloy's] comments towards his industry brothers and sisters.

"He's had a few shots in the past and I've always bit my lip but now... [The Sugar Club] is a huge operation and they train heaps of staff.

"It's run by Peter Gordon: Leo you're not better than Peter Gordon, you're just not, I'm sorry." 

Dallow says he's had enough, especially as many in the industry "are too scared" to go up against Molloy.

"He fires these punches and says these outrages things, but he's just a spoiled brat. He's attention seeking.

"Come on mate, pull it in... we're all brothers and sisters in the industry, let's work together."

Talking to Newshub on Wednesday, Molloy criticized the rebuke from Dallow.

"Hasn't he got enough problems of his own to worry about?" he questioned, before elaborating "it's a shame he's fallen on hard times but he should be worrying about his own business - not mine."

Molloy also stood by the comments he made about The Sugar club.

"Everything I said about Sky City and The Sugar Club was fully true. Apart from Depot which I think is a fairly outstanding establishment, the rest of those Sky City strip restaurants are only there to sanitise the sordid underbelly of Sky City."

In an interesting twist, Molloy announced on the HeadQuarters Facebook page today they were planning on opening a Ponsonby location, meaning Dallow and Molloy will soon be neighbours.


In a comment on Dallow's Facebook post, Molloy wrote: "How about you sort your own personal mess out champ, particularly given that I’m looking for a Ponsonby site and you’ll have more than your hands full when I come to your part of town."

Chapel Bar owner slams HeadQuarters' Leo Molloy for 'puerile and provocative behaviour'
Photo credit: Facebook.

But Dallow told Newshub he would look forward to the move.

"That's great if he does… Another good operator on the strip," he said.

In May Molloy became involved in a stoush with The Project, after a customer complained about plastic confetti that had been taken into Headquarters blowing into Auckland Harbour.

After investigating the complaint The Project was told by Molloy the world would be better off without the customer, as well as presenter Kanoa Lloyd.

He warned The Project to be careful about engaging with him.

"I have a lacerating style, so unless you want people to bleed or cry or have emotional breakdowns, you're best not to engage with me."