By PHILIP CHANDLER
Queenstown bar baron Mike Burgess’ company has stepped in to take a half share — in fact, 51% — of popular local rooftop bar, Sundeck, and its downstairs partner, Attiqa.
Original Sundeck/Attiqa owner Cam Mitchell, who holds the other 49%, says: ‘‘I think I’ve done as much as I can with this place.
‘‘And what attracts me to these guys is their resources — they’ve got quite a machine behind them — and they’ve got some great ideas for this place.’’
The catalyst for the ownership shuffle was minority shareholder Stefano De Santis’ decision to move back to Europe with his family at some stage.
As a result, Burgess’ Republic Hospitality Group — behind prominent local bars/restaurants like Winnies, The Ballarat Trading Co and Frankton Arm Tavern— has bought De Santis’ shares, some of Mitchell’s and those of another minority shareholder.
Republic CEO Blair Impey says the acquisition increases the company’s premium bar offering and adds a rooftop bar to its portfolio.
‘‘It’s a great business, and we see good potential in it — culturally, we think we can fit well.
‘‘We’ll just slowly morph in, working with them, and together we can look a how we could freshen things up but do it while keeping all the same charm it’s got.’’
The ownership changes takes effect this coming Tuesday.
Meanwhile, De Santis will carry on as Sundeck/Attiqa’s ops manager and Mitchell also retains his ownership interest in Queenstown’s high-end Bunker bar/restaurant.