Ex-World bosses take over Queenstown institution

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Two former duty managers at Queenstown’s burnt-out World Bar have coincidentally bought a bar round the corner. 

Scott Mickan, 30, and Inoke Vi, 28, yesterday took over Red Rock about a month after leaving The World and only two weeks after a massive fire razed the popular nightspot. 

“The wheels were put in motion long before the fire,” Vi says. 

“It’s just a bar that we’ve always had a bit of an eye on,” Mickan adds. 

“The World and Red Rock have their similarities but at the same time they are like chalk and cheese – but it’s something we’d like to bridge.” 

The new owners have already taken on three displaced World Bar staff, but say they won’t at this stage try to make it a replacement live music venue. 

Vi says: “We’d love to but as we stand at the moment we can’t – once we’re operational we’ll review budgets.” 

Vendors Dave Ness and partner Karen Brown have owned Red Rock, one of Queenstown’s longest-established bars, for 15 years. 

Mickan: “Essentially we want to keep it this nostalgic bar that everyone wants to come to, but we think there’s a few different markets that we might be able to pull from.” 

Those include the backpacker trade that Ness and Brown enjoyed in their heyday. 

Ness says trading has been tough in recent years due to price wars among bars and the proliferation of licensed establishments. 

“The window was closed a long time ago when they should have limited licences. 

“I know these new guys have got the market to take the Red Rock forward. I did have it once, I don’t have it any more.” 

The new owners are holding a launch party from 6pm this Sunday. 

Ness and Brown continue to own Bathhouse Cafe & Restaurant on Queenstown Bay.