Eight South Island hospitality businesses for sale

2:13 PM Monday September 8, 2014 Colin Taylor

Armadillo’s Bar and Restaurant, 183 Queen St, Richmond.

Northend Hotels, of the South Island’s biggest hospitality groups, has placed its entire portfolio comprising eight bars and restaurants stretching from Motueka in the north to Te Anau in the south on the market for sale.

Across the eight businesses the group owns 128 gaming machines, making it the single biggest gaming operator in the country accounting for 37 per cent of the South Island turnover of gaming trust Pub Charity.

“After many years’ involvement in the hospitality industry, the group’s owner is looking for a new direction and has placed the eight bars and restaurants on the market for sale,” says Peter Harris, tourism and hospitality sales specialist for Bayleys Canterbury, who is selling the portfolio by negotiation.

“They are specifically being sold as one group and not individually,” Harris says.

Located in prominent locations in Motueka, Richmond, Blenheim, Christchurch, Timaru and Te Anau, the properties are a mix of freehold and leasehold businesses, employing up to 168 staff.

Harris says the group is managed from a central location, allowing the owner to have full access to financial transactions across all of the businesses, with on-site managers responsible for day-to-day operations.

“The sale of these properties presents an opportunity for a savvy buyer to take over a cluster of established businesses in prime locations,” he says. “This offering will appeal to operators and investors looking to secure a strong hospitality foothold in the South Island.

“There is also the option of developing the businesses further, with room to expand on some of the sites. This business opportunity would ideally suit a hands-on operator wanting to take the group of businesses to a new level.”

Gaming operations are a key contributor to the business with the group currently having a contract in place with one of New Zealand’s leading gaming machine trusts from which it receives a substantial annual turnover.

“The current owner is an experienced operator who has built up the businesses and who could continue running the group under a management contract to ensure continuity and to allow a new owner to benefit from his experience,” Harris says.

The eight properties within the Northend Hotel’s portfolio are:

  •          The Post Office Hotel on Motueka’s main street, at 122 High Street, comprising a freehold building on land leased from Wakatu Trust. The bar regularly has live music, and also features a TAB, and 18 gaming machines. Staff operate in conjunction with Motty Malones Bar across the road. The restaurant at the hotel is currently leased out to an independent operator.
  •          Motty Malones Irish-themed bar is a leasehold property also located in Motueka’s main street, which sees a high level of foot traffic. The main bar has a generous stage for live bands, with a separate dining area, two pool tables and a gaming room with nine machines. Themed sports memorabilia, large flat screen televisions and a gas fire with leaners and booth style dining seating all add to the character of the bar which is leased for an indefinite term.
  •          The Star and Garter Tavern on Richmond’s main street at 252 Queen St, Richmond, south of Nelson city, has long been popular with locals and has a loyal following. The tavern’s high-profile corner site has plenty of parking for patrons. Inside there is a stage for live bands, bar, dining and dedicated TAB, 18 gaming machines and smoking areas. The lease has six and a half years remaining, with a proposal for a further seven years.
  •          Armadillo’s Bar and Restaurant is also located on Richmond’s main street, with the property undergoing a full refurbishment this year. The leasehold business operates as a bar, restaurant and function venue and features a projector and large screen with flat screen televisions throughout, a gaming room with 18 machines and an outdoor courtyard. This recently-purchased business averages a turnover of $30,000 per week and has a lease with 16 years left to run.
  •          Over in Blenheim is the Springlands Tavern is encompassing a freehold property over two titles, at 16-20 Boyce St. The venue can cater for large numbers or small gatherings in its bar, lounge, restaurant, and function rooms and has ample car-parking. It features 18 gaming machines, a TAB and a bottlestore.
  •          Down south in Christchurch is Churchills Tavern which has been on its current site at 441 Colombo Street for more than 20 years. Situated within a retail and industrial area minutes from the CBD, the leasehold business is located on the city’s main thoroughfare to the hillside suburb of Cashmere and the Port Hills. The tavern has a sports bar, 18 gaming machines and a TAB and a lease that has 20 years left to run.
  •          Further south again, in Timaru, the Richard Pearse Tavern is a freehold property under one title at 118 Le Cren St. It includes a restaurant and bar, drive-in bottle store, two function rooms, 18 gaming machines, a TAB and three-bedroom staff accommodation and a vast parking area. The tavern has established itself as a popular watering hole and dining destination in the township, and is also used by clients for private functions.
  •          Rounding out the portfolio of properties is Moose Tavern further south again in Te Anau on the edge of Fiordland. The leasehold tavern with 17 years still to run on the lease is located at 84 Lakefront Drive and incorporates a bar and restaurant with a seating capacity of 80 people, 11 gaming machines and a TAB. Customers have views across Lake Te Anau and the surrounding mountains. The Springlands Tavern at 16-20 Boyce St, Blenheim. 


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The Springlands Tavern at 16-20 Boyce St, Blenheim. 

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Motty Malones Irish-themed bar at 121 High St, Motueka. 


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Post Office Hotel at 122 High St, Motueka.