Shops’ fate in balance


The conditional sale agreement of the North Otago Club building to operate as Cucina (1871) Restaurant/Cafe will be subject to any existing leases.

Club president Peter Garvan has confirmed the conditions will form part of any sale of the building.

“Any change in that situation can only occur if there is a mutual agreement between the parties,” he said.

Asked to elaborate on the existing tenancies of Annie’s Victorian Tearooms and Store and Almost All New Zealand Books, Mr Garvan said he had no further comment. Annie’s Victorian Tearooms and Store proprietor Annie Baxter said she was disappointed to have to consider closing the doors of her business.

“The outcome remains unclear as there are still some issues to be resolved,” she said.

Annie’s Victorian Tearooms and Store is approaching its third year of operation.

Rob McBeath of Almost All New Zealand Books, the second tenant in the building, said he was “waiting to see what happens”.

“I would rather not move but what will be, will be,” he said.

Mr McBeath has operated his business at its present site for just over three years.

Steven May, regulatory services manager of the Waitaki District Council, said an informal meeting between the directors of Cucina (1871) Restaurant/Cafe Ltd, parties representing multiple signatories to two objections to the licence application and council officers, would be held today in Oamaru. “The meeting is an opportunity to have an informal get together and to discuss the application,” he said.

Joint directors of Cucina (1871) Restaurant/Cafe Ltd, Keith and Lynette Stevens and Andrew and Mary-claire Anderson, have a conditional agreement to purchase the club building and plan to turn the ground floor into an Italian restaurant, seating 30-40 people.

Mr Stevens who, with his wife, returns to Oamaru after a number of years in the hospitality business, particularly in Queenstown, said club members had held a special meeting recently to discuss the future of the building and agreed to the sale. “Our agreement to purchase the building is conditional,” he said. “We have plans in place for the restaurant but these will not come to fruition until all conditions have been satisfied and we have approval from the Waitaki District Licensing Agency.”

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