Progress slow on rebuilding World Bar

Fire at World Bar last May. Photo by James Beech.
Fire at World Bar last May. Photo by James Beech.
The empty space left in central Queenstown by the gutted World Bar is likely to remain for at least a while longer, with the hope of having the bar rebuilt by winter now in limbo.

The bar's marketing manager, Chris Barnhart, said the rebuilding was ''still in the planning process''.

After last May's fire, the remains of the bar and downstairs pizzeria sat for months on Shotover St before contractors demolished what was left, leaving a distinctive hole between neighbouring buildings.

Just before the main shell was demolished in November, Mr Barnhart told the Otago Daily Times it was hoped the bar would be open for the 2014 Winter Festival, but last week, he said ''we're not even close to having timelines yet''.

He also could not confirm whether the bar would be rebuilt on the same site.

He admitted ''we are surprised at how long it's taking''.

Last year, the ODT reported an official investigation found the fire started in a deep fat vat fryer in the Fat Badgers Pizza restaurant.

It was caused by thermostat capillary tubes not being submerged in oil in the fryer, thus not being able to control the temperature of the oil.

There had been insufficient oil to allow this.

The fire then spread to the upstairs World Bar, which had been part of Queenstown for 17 years.

In the meantime, The Find - a bar set up by World Bar on Shotover St after the fire - ''is going to stay until we figure out what we are going to do''.

- christina.mcdonald@odt.co.nz