Fire marked the end of The World, but the popular Queenstown bar/restaurant reopens next month in relocated premises.
The owners of The World - which was burnt down two years ago after operating in Shotover Street since 1996 - bought another CBD bar, Monty’s, in March, and are redeveloping it.
Owners Steve Ward and Gary Livesey, who opened The Find, also in Shotover St, as a temporary replacement after the fire, had hoped to return to their original premises.
Last October, however, their landlord Dave Boyd announced he couldn’t rehouse The World, as new building regulations would have compromised financial returns.
Ward and Livesey say they’re delighted at finding a new venue after a whirlwind couple of years.
“After being led down many garden paths, it’s nice to finally have a permanent spot to call home,” Livesey says.
However the pair say The World’s new Church St guise will be quite different from the original late-night gig spot.
For a start, it will be open all day with an all-weather beer garden and a street-front location it didn’t have before.
The new World will also offer an extension to The Find’s current burger menu, which will finish up this week.
“Securing a location like this is testament to the food that we’ve been creating at The Find as well as the reaction that we’ve received from it,” Ward says.
The owners expect a 50/50 split between food and alcohol – there’ll probably be 11 different beers on tap.
There’ll still be entertainment at night, as well as during the day, but the owners say they’ll be sensitive to neighbouring businesses.
“We certainly see it as an evolution for us as operators,” Livesey says.
The venue will employ about 12 to 15 staff, he adds.
The Find will remain open for this winter, at least.
“We’ll focus The Find into a more dedicated night-time spot very soon, with a greater separation between the front bar and a more relaxed and welcoming back bar area,” Livesey says.
The owners hope to open The World on June 19 to coincide with the opening of Queenstown Winter Festival.