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Our round: Gantley's Pub general manager Graham Kinlan looks forward to welcoming locals in Arthurs Point

By MATTHEW MCKEW

An incredible response to a pop-up bar in Queenstown’s Arthurs Point has seen Cargo Brewery commit to opening its pub in the historic Gantley’s building full-time.

Cargo first threw open the doors to customers in the subdivision at the end of January – the response has been so positive, pub boss Graham Kinlan says it’ll reopen as a bar after lockdown, and in the meantime operate as a takeaway cafe.

Kinlan says it’s too easy for people to think negatively about business prospects right now.

“It is purely just their opinion.

“We don’t believe that the successful businesses out the other side of this are going to be the ones that have just sat back and worried about all the negatives, and waited for something to happen.

“We think the Arthurs Point locals are a loyal and great bunch.”

Cargo’s new joint’s a traditional English pub with a Kiwi twist.

Kinlan says there was an “incredible response” after the pub opened on January 20 – it had to close in March due to the Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Gantley’s, which dates back to 1863, was sold by long-time owners Brent Rands and Jared Aldridge in May, 2018.

It was bought by Auckland’s Marvel Grill and Fireworks Smokehouse, but they had a short-lived tenure, shutting the doors less than a year after refurbing and reopening.

Cargo was in the middle of building a cafe facility when government restrictions curtailed business.

But during lockdown they decided to commit to the venue long-term and on Tuesday they started selling sandwiches and coffee, via their click and collect service, as well as beer.

Kinlan says as well as catering for locals, Cargo hopes to attract those heading to Coronet Peak during ski season.

The pub is Cargo’s second venue – it already operates at Waitiri Creek.

matthew.mckew@scene.co.nz