‘Culture hub’ promised as the Cook returns, again

Potential customers will have to wait a little longer before the Captain Cook Hotel reopens....
Potential customers will have to wait a little longer before the Captain Cook Hotel reopens. Photo: Christine O'Connor
The Cook is back — again.

Dunedin’s live music scene is set to get a boost as the Captain Cook Hotel  is set to reopen after closing its doors last October. Former Chicks Hotel operator Mike McLeod will take over the running of the 150-year-old Dunedin bar and venue, with an emphasis on live music.

It will still be owned by the same group of investors who bought the bar after it closed in 2013, spending an undisclosed amount of money to transform the rundown tavern into a modern gastro-pub.

The pub  reopened in April of 2016.

Mr McLeod said there was a lack of live music venues in Dunedin and he hoped the Cook  could return to being more of musical and cultural hub in the city, as it was in the 1980s.

"It’s certainly not going be in the ethos of the student bar it was throughout most of the 2000s but a return of a return to what it used to be, legend has it, in the ’70s and ’80s as more of a culture hub."

The venue’s first live performance under Mr McLeod’s management will be a Connan Mockasin show on February 2.

It was likely to reopen  before  Orientation Week,  he said.

Mr McLeod admitted to being slightly nervous about taking on the job of running one of the city’s oldest and most notable establishments.

"I’m certainly nervous about certain aspects of it and it’s a bit of risk for me, but at the same time I’m excited about the opportunities it brings.

"Dunedin is in dire need of a live music venue."

In addition to the music venue upstairs, the gastro-pub downstairs would remain, Mr McLeod said.


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