Criterion opening tomorrow

Criterion lessee Sally-Ann Donnelly looks forward to reopening the historic Criterion Hotel. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
Criterion lessee Sally-Ann Donnelly looks forward to reopening the historic Criterion Hotel. Photo by Andrew Ashton.

After a huge renovation, one of Oamaru's most recognisable buildings will reopen to the public this weekend.

The 1877-built Criterion Hotel had been closed since June, but new lessee Sally-Ann Donnelly said the hotel would finally be ready to open again at 4pm tomorrow.

Mrs Donnelly said the pub now had a new look, with every room having had some work done.

Staff had been recruited and everyone was "looking forward" to opening the doors to the public, she said.

"We have been working very hard to get everything ready and get the doors open.

"We have redecorated a substantial portion of the hotel. We are going to really focus on supplying simple pub food with a focus on local ingredients, and we have a great selection of Waitaki wines."

She said from next week the hotel would be open at 11.30am from Tuesday to Sunday.

Reopening the 135-year-old hotel would also be a boost for the town's Victorian precinct, she said.

"It will be great for this area. When the Criterion is open, it looks alive."

andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz