Dux de Lux up for sale

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The owner of popular Queenstown bar Dux de Lux is reluctantly putting the business on the market. 

Richard Sinke, founder of the iconic Dux bar in Christchurch – which was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake – has just listed the Queenstown counterpart. 

“I’m testing the waters to see if there’s any interest out there. Part of me doesn’t want to sell. I don’t need to sell, I’ll just see what happens,” he says. 

A lease with a “considerable” period to run is part of the sale, he says. 

Sinke says he’s been dealing with a huge workload since last year’s devastating earthquake, which is the reason behind the potential sale of Queenstown’s Dux. 

Since losing his central Christchurch business, he’s been busy trying to revive the brand in the city. He set up live music venue and craft beer bar Dux Live in Addington last year and is in the throes of building a Dux Dine eatery in Riccarton. 

“I’m still hoping to get back into the original site,” he adds. 

Added to that, Sinke’s son Jordan – who used to manage the Queenstown pub – is still recovering from a vicious alleged assault at another local bar six months ago. 

Jordan, who had a 10-12cm piece of skull removed to reduce brain swelling after the incident, has made a miraculous recovery and returned to work part-time in May. 

Jordan had hoped to resume full-time work in coming months but it’s still too early, Richard says. 

“It’s not that he’s not functioning well, it’s just the work environment is a bit more intense. It’s about dealing with people, stressful situations in kitchens and bars – it’s more than what people realise. 

“And having heavy music in your ear all the time, all that sort of thing, is quite hard when you’re suffering what Jordan’s been through. He’s recovering really well and doing really well, there’s no doubt about that.” 

Sinke says he wouldn’t be selling if it weren’t for the other factors. 

“I like being involved in Queenstown. But like any of these businesses, it needs to be very hands-on. Remote management is too difficult.” 

Any new owner needs a passion for Queenstown, good beer and food, he adds.