A fond farewell to Dux

The Dux de Lux live music bar in Queenstown is closing, after almost 10 years.

Based in the 1886 McNeil's Cottage building, "the Dux" was one of Queenstown's few craft beer hang-outs and was a popular choice for those wanting to hear local music talent.

On Saturday, a large crowd converged on the bar to listen to the last 10 live bands and drink the Dux Beer tap dry by 8pm.

General manager Ross Herrick said Saturday's closing was an emotional time for him and the staff as he managed the bar since it first took over from McNeils Pub on November 4, 2003.

Owner Richard Sinke bought the building to expand his Dux De Lux brand, which started in Christchurch in 1978 in a historic Arts Centre building since closed by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

The owners have decided to concentrate on their new Christchurch project, "Dux Live", at Addington, which meant closing the Queenstown business.

"It's a very sad time for us; this is nine years of our lives in Queenstown," Mr Herrick said.

"There's a lot of good memories."

Business for the craft bar had not been a breeze, he admitted, attributing that to stiff competition in Queenstown's bar scene and the demand for a "cheap brew".

"It's been OK, it's gone OK. It could have gone better, but there has been an awful lot of competition.

"To be fair, it was one of Queenstown's only craft breweries and we couldn't discount it like every other generic beer.

"When bars are offering $3 beers, it's hard to compete. I think the Queenstown youth drinking culture aren't too interested in the taste as much as the price sometimes."

Mr Herrick said the craft beer market was still there and the closing of the Dux had left a hole to fill.

The gap for that particular market will not be filled by the new owners David Matthews and Mark Rose when their new Italian-style restaurant Sasso opens in mid December.

The two business partners plan to create a Mediterranean style and relaxed atmosphere.

-olivia.caldwell@odt.co.nz