Next generation discovers Captain Cook

5:00 AM Saturday July 8, 2017 Paul Charman

Built in 1860, the historic hotel was refurbished several years ago. Photo / Supplied

The Captain Cook Hotel — a Dunedin institution once regarded as being among New Zealand’s best student bars — is now for sale as a going concern business within leased premises.

An army of former students educated at Otago University — including perhaps the greater part of today’s lawyers, doctors, dentists and surveyors — retain fond memories of the Captain Cook, says ABC business sales broker Jono Kennedy.

Built in 1860, the historic hotel, at 354 Great King St, has been extensively refurbished, including earthquake strengthening.

“This hotel closed in 2013, following 159 years of service to Dunedin locals, plus a 25,000 or so varsity population which virtually camped on its doorstep,” says Kennedy.

“A syndicate of investors and business people purchased the hotel, then set about to restore it. Their epic makeover included the original fireplaces and pressed tin ceilings, with a quirky homage to the past here and there — such as a new window, offering a peek of the former beer cellar.”

Kennedy says though modernised, the high-stud interior still has a cosy and intimate feel, including having retained two well-known ‘identities’, Boris (the boar) and Steve (the buck).

“The hotel re-opened this year, catering for a wide-ranging clientele with a full kitchen menu, drinks and functions laid on by a friendly, professional team. It has a great landlord and lease and has become a successful modern-day business, all nestled appealingly within this award-winning historic building conversion.”

True Commercia - 354 Great King St%2c Captain Cook - interior.jpg

The makeover included the original fireplaces and pressed tin ceilings. Photo / Supplied

Yearly sales add up to well over $1m and a full information memorandum will be available to qualified prospectors, says Kennedy.

“In this modern era, when so many members of the public really prize a story along with their dining or drinking experience, this establishment is a standout among the city’s hospitality providers.

“The Captain Cook played host to some of the most famous bands of the Dunedin Sound, including The Clean, The Chills, Look Blue Go Purple, The Rip, The Verlaines and many others.”

The sales process calls for offers, which can be presented up till 4pm on July 14, unless the hotel is sold ahead of that date, says Kennedy.