New pub complex for Leeston
Development of another hospitality complex in Selwyn is steaming ahead.
Construction of a $3.5 million bar, restaurant and accommodation development for Leeston began almost a year ago, and owner Craig Bradford hopes to be open by the end of July.
The new facility takes the place of the Leeston Hotel’s former spot at 3 Market St on the corner of High St in Leeston.
The earthquake-damaged Leeston Hotel was demolished in 2011, leaving the township publess.
It’s been a six-year battle to get the project off the ground, Bradford said.
‘‘Leeston needed a pub. It’s a nice, small, intimate community here.’’
The English-themed Crate and Barrel bar and restaurant complex also includes a motel, large outdoor area with plenty of decking, bottle shop, a function room and TAB gaming room.
Along with the overall black and white theme, there will be four themed areas incorporating ‘‘all about Leeston’’, Lake Ellesmere, music, and sport.
Until two months ago Bradford owned The Famous Grouse Hotel in Lincoln. He will live in a flat on the Leeston site, running the bar and restaurant with his son.
‘‘We hope to open mid to late July, but it’s all dependent on contractors and the council.’’
When the Selwyn & Ashburton Outlook dropped by on Monday, the power had been switched on and contractors were busy tiling, carrying out earthworks, and tackling the huge interior of the complex.
Bradford had originally planned for the accommodation facility to be split between a motel and a backpackers, but has instead opted for a nine-unit motel that sleeps 25 people.
Interest in the new development has been high, he said.
A head chef for the restaurant has already been hired, with interviews for other positions expected to be carried out in three weeks.
Over the past six months, two other large restaurants have opened in Selwyn, both in Rolleston. The $3.5 million Silver Dollar Bar & Restaurant opened late last year, while The Pedal Pusher opened on March 31 in the South Point complex in Faringdon.
A 16-unit extension is also under way at Rolleston Highway Motels on Chaucer St alongside State Highway 1.
Crate and Barrel owner Craig Bradford outside the hospitality complex in Leeston.