North Dunedin bar scene is making a comeback, and the owners
of the Captain Cook Tavern are confident it will reopen in
time for next year's Orientation.
Noel Kennedy, one of three directors of Orari Street
Properties Investments Ltd which owns the building, said
designs for a revitalised Captain Cook Tavern were completed
last week and estimated construction costs were ''well within
''It's absolutely 100%, barring some ridiculous tender
figures coming in.
''Everyone's pretty excited, to be honest,'' he said.
Work to demolish the most recent additions to the building
and return it closer to its original shape was already well
The owners wanted the historic bar to help bring people back
from a crowded Octagon.
This comes after last year's closure and the earlier loss of
the Gardens Tavern and The Bowler - both bought by the
University of Otago - put a once-vibrant North Dunedin bar
scene under threat.
Mr Kennedy said a preliminary agreement had been made with
someone who would take over the lease of the bar, which would
likely be finalised after construction tenders came in.
''We want to get the Cook up and running by the end of this
year if we can, and certainly before the students return next
He would not reveal precise details about how much the work
would cost, but said it would be in the ''millions''.
The level of interest from people looking to be part of a
revitalised Captain Cook Tavern showed it was viable to run a
bar in the North End, something which was questioned when the
bar closed last year.
''Frankly, some of the big brewers that feigned lack of
interest way back are now desperate to get involved again.
''We are in a position to basically say to them `no, you have
left your run too late','' he said.
The reopening of the Cook, if all went to plan, would follow
the Lone Star, which already ''dragged people back to that
end of town'', and the Cook's owners were looking at linking
the two developments.
''We hope to have a complex around the Cook that will add to
... bringing people back from the Octagon towards the
university The new Cook would not be a ''drinking barn as it
was before'' and would be focused on more than just students.
''We want it intimate. It would be nice to get a good
eclectic group back in the bar, like it used to be in the
good old days,'' he said.