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The Captain Cook Tavern will ''definitely'' be back, but the building's owners are still sorting through options with potential tenants.
Greg Paterson, one of three directors of Orari Street Properties Investments Ltd which owns the building, said it was ''definitely'' going to open a new bar on the revitalised corner site.
''We have got any number of options, and if we couldn't get a tenant, we would probably do it ourselves,'' Mr Paterson said.
He was unable to set a date for when the bar would reopen as they were still trying to find a tenant to provide a ''food offering'', which would probably include servicing the downstairs bar and offering takeaways.
''We can't do it until we get it right, so we are trying to get the right operators, the right size space, get it all ticked off by council.
''We would have liked to have got it done by now, but it's more important to get it right than to rush it,'' he said.
The plan was for the downstairs bar to have a ''garden bar'' and outdoor area at the rear of the site, but not in the area where the garden bar was before the bar closed last year.
Rather than being aimed at students, the bar would be for ''everyone''.
''Traditionally, the front bar of the Cook was a bar that had lots of different people going into it.''
''It needs to cater for the modern drinking demand, rather than what it did in the past.''
The building's upstairs would largely be left as it was and could be used as a second bar.
The architect, Ed Elliott, whom they had hired to bring the building back to its former glory, would be filing a demolition consent next week, so the ''scuzzy'' kitchen back-of-house extension - which had been added to the original building - could be removed.
Mr Elliott said removing the extension would make it easier for builders to work on the rest of the building.
The gap left by the removal of the extension and the old garden bar, which it is situated next to, would be left empty in the short-term for later development, Mr Elliott said.
A resource consent for the overall building work was granted last November.
The consent, obtained by the Otago Daily Times yesterday, quotes the council's urban designer Peter Christos as saying the work ''will have a positive effect on streetscape and amenity values by providing a quality upgrade to a prominent historic building''.
''The design considers heritage values and maximises the potential of the site.''