About Us


Life is too short to eat or drink anything mediocre. We like to create new and unexpected experiences that give people a good time. This is a team of Doers and Makers who love to share the fruits of their labour - whether it be great beer, food, music or entertainment.


Why are we called Whistling Sisters?

This one’s for you sis xx.

Whistling Sisters is a Scott Family project. We’re a long-established Wellington hospitality family who own Leuven Bar, The Featherston City Tavern, Avida Bar and who previously created and owned Ombra restaurant. We’re called Whistling Sisters because this project is more than just a business for us.

Our motivation for Whistling Sisters comes from Karen Louisa, our beautiful daughter and sister who we lost to breast cancer in 2015. Losing Karen made us realise how important it is to make a difference in this life. So we set up the Karen Louisa Foundation to honour her memory and fund research into secondary (advanced) breast cancer. We started Whistling Sisters as a way to help that Foundation keep going and give back. 

scott girls  sistersKaren Louisa logo

We named the undertaking Whistling Sisters so we would always remember our sister and her remarkable spirit, and to celebrate that same spirit in brothers and sisters everywhere. We hope you get a sense of that energy when you come in.

Russel, Elwyn and Lisa Scott


Meet the Scotts:
Russel, Elwyn and Lisa.

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For almost fifty years the Scott family have been shaking up the Wellington hospitality scene. Back in the 1980s, Russel and Elwyn created The Backbencher pub, filled it with puppets and started Wellington’s most fun political party. Then they turned a Christian book store into Irish pub the Black Harp, converted a hairdressing salon into Belgian beer café Leuven and transitioned a Cuba Street sex shop into a Venetian Baraco called Ombra. They created Chicago, a three story waterfront bar that was opened by Sir Peter Blake, and Flanagan’s, a Creole bar with flaming alligators out the front.

In recognition of all this, Russel was inducted into the Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2016. Along the way Russel and Elwyn were joined by their younger daughter Lisa, who runs Whistling Sisters marketing, is Manager of the Karen Louisa Foundation, and is bringing up the next generation of this hospitality dynasty – Jake, Molly and Jimmy.


Meet Bede Roe:
The chief beer guy

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Bede Roe is a beer guy through and through. He’s been living and breathing beer for most of his adult life, first by selling beer for the big breweries and more recently as a man possessed with his working life’s greatest passion, establishing the Whistling Sisters brewery.

Bede and his wife Angie are business partners with the Scott family in the Whistling Sisters brewery and he’s been the driving force in making sure that the Brewery is the best of the best.

Cheers to that!