Thyme Square encourages patrons to take time out

Logan Murray wears many hats at Hamilton’s home of intimate dining, Thyme Square Restaurant, so it’s no wonder he took home the win for Outstanding Chef and Emerging Front of House, at the Waikato Hospitality Awards 2023.

As owner, Logan opened Thyme Square’s doors three years ago, he says chefing is only about 30 percent of what he does. As solo chef, Logan aims to greet every patron who walks through the door - by name as much as possible - and at the end of the night, he takes on all the dishes and is still there at 1am mopping the floors.

When people come to my restaurant, I try to make them feel at home. I’ve designed this place to make you want to sink into your chair, lose track of time and really connect with the company you bring.

"One of my philosophies is giving people time back, hence the pun of the name [Thyme] and a lot of that is an education of patience. As a society, we just need to be present and reconnect.”

Thyme Square Logan Murray

Logan’s hospitality career kicked off at the end of 2009 when he left for Canada and started as a Kitchen Hand in the mountains. Wanting to follow the snow, upon returning to New Zealand he landed in Queenstown and ended up in a globally recognised restaurant where he was trained under some of the best chefs in the country, if not world, with a different Michelin chef coming in and out every season.

I learnt how to create and play with food, and each person I worked with gave me something new.

“I’ve worked in some globally prestigious restaurants, but when I dine in these places, I've felt almost a sense of awkwardness. You read a menu and there’s all sorts of words to describe what a baked potato is. There’s a real ego in our industry to push the boundaries, but I’m a true believer that hospitality should purely be about making people feel good.”

Thyme Square Staff

Late at night after Thyme Square has closed its doors, Logan will often go stargazing, put his Airpods in, and spend a lot of time going right through the restaurant’s playlist – trying out music and pulling out songs.

“It’s about finding that sweet spot where people feel good, relaxed and at home. I try to listen to what makes me feel calm, and that’s what I use for my customers.”

When prepping for the night ahead, Logan generally listening to Drum & Bass or Tupac.

I’m a huge believer that music has a huge impact on how we respond.

“I have songs that create a different state of mind for me; ones that motivate and ones that inspire. There are some styles of music that just pick my soul up.”

“When I'm having one of those days, I’ve got a couple of playlists that take me to a happy place, music that makes me feel like I can overcome anything.”

It feeds the soul on a day when you’re physically and mentally struggling.

“At the end of the day, I tune back in, put inspirational music on that pumps me up and brings me back, and find my happy space.”

Pop in next [Thyme] you’re around.
Wednesday to Saturday, 5:30pm to Late
259 Grey Street, Hamilton East

Learn more about the music licenses we have available for your business here.