Staying buoyant: Perky's manager Fraser Carson, left, and owner Max Perkins are trying to keep their heads above water by supporting local product


A downtown Queenstown hospo operator believes businesses need to work together to survive the downturn.

For Perky’s floating bar owner Max Perkins, that means ‘going local’ for his beer and wine.

After throwing out a lot of product, 70% of his beers are now local and 45% of his wines.

Those local suppliers have rewarded him with discounts which he’s now passing on to his customers, he says.

‘‘While customer numbers have fallen off a cliff, at least the dollars coming in are going to local producers.

‘‘It’s not much, as I am a small bar, but every little bit helps.’’

It’s not Perkins’ first ‘support local’ initiative.

Before lockdown, he hooked up with Devil Burger to give customers ‘‘a substantial food offer’’.

Since then, as business has got tougher, both operators have come up with a snappily-priced $20 burger plus chips plus drink deal that’s gone down well.

Devil Burger owner Blair Maddison says: ‘‘It’s local business relationships like this that can only be beneficial for both of us in these tough economic times.’’

Meanwhile, Perkins just launched his mulled wine season with at a function last Thursday.

With that ‘support local’ theme in mind, the mulled wine’s being made by Gibbston’s Mt Rosa Wines from locally-grown pinot noir grapes.