Fresh new start for Horse and Hound
There were a few curious glances as regulars entered the reopened Horse and Hound earlier this month.
Now known as the Jackson Street Bar following a Trust House takeover, the popular Masterton bar was closed for seven weeks with talk of a fresh new look.
As many found out, those expecting a significant redesign were set to be disappointed.
Sitting in the centre of the bar, one punter swept his eye around the room. ‘‘It’s, well, pretty much the same,’’ he said, shrugging his shoulders.
His sentiments were widely echoed. Aside from altering the location of the game room, everything appeared much as it was, albeit with a new lick of paint. So why the holdup? Trust House chief executive Allan Pollard said more work was done than meets the eye - more, in fact, than the business’s new owners initially thought was needed.
‘‘It’s more than just a spruce up,’’ he said.
‘‘It was bloody awful before, really. It was tired, your feet would stick to the carpet ... it was never our intention to move things around.
‘‘It was so run down when we took it over that we decided to spend the extra money to do it justice.’’
So how much extra money? Pollard won’t pinpoint an exact number, citing commercial sensitivity, but he did admit a ballpark figure would put the total spend around $70,000.
Certain parts of the building, he said, were in particularly bad shape.
‘‘A lot of the delay was with the toilets, which were in a worse condition than we envisioned,’’ he said.
‘‘We figured we’d take the extra time to do a good job and not rush it.’’
He said he’d been hearing encouraging reports from visitors.
‘‘The feedback has been really positive, which is most unusual in my job,’’ he said.
On a recent visit to the bar, some regulars had mixed feelings about the redesign.
All were appreciative of the new carpet and paint, but most were still mystified as to why the refit had taken seven weeks instead of four.
‘‘I mean, it’s really nice, but I kind of expected more,’’ one punter said. ‘‘I’ve spent seven weeks drinking at home for this?’’
Closed for seven weeks, the Jackson Street Bar reopened two weeks ago.