New pub com­plex for Lee­ston

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - HE­LENA O'NEILL

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.

HE­LENA O’NEILL/FAIR­FAX NZ

Crate and Bar­rel owner Craig Brad­ford out­side the hospi­tal­ity com­plex in Lee­ston.

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