The reincarnated version of a popular provincial country pub which burnt to the ground three years ago – and is now believed to be the only hotel in New Zealand which doubles up as the town’s local laundromat - has been placed on the market for sale.
The Waimate Hotel in the South Taranaki township of Mania was razed by fire in 2016 after operating from the site for 110-years. The loss of the Waimate Hotel left the town without a social hub where friends and visitors could pop in for a beer and bite to eat.
Ironically, The Waimate Hotel’s only former competition, the New Commercial Hotel, had burned down 10 years earlier and had never been rebuilt.
However, a rebuilt Waimate Hotel was back in action in 2017 – much to the celebration of Manaia locals. The reincarnated pub has a new build standards (NBS) rating of 100 percent – including the installation of a fire sprinkler system.
Facing directly on to State Highway 45, the Waimate Hotel sits on the roundabout intersection with Tauhuri Street in the middle of Manaia. During the course of its life as Manaia’s community hub, the Waimate Hotel had been used as the changing rooms and clubhouse for the local rugby club before and after Saturday afternoon matches.
The township of Manaia is located on the coastal State Highway 45 linking New Plymouth in the north with Whanganui in the south. The 2013 New Zealand Census reported that Manaia had a resident population of 960 people. The next nearest pub or tavern is some 15 kilometres away down the coast in Hawera.
The Waimate Hotel’s main bar and restaurant areas are licensed to serve up to 150 patrons. Now fully back up and running, the Waimate Hotel derives income from the full gamut of hospitality services traditionally found in country pubs, including:
• A sports-themed bar whose walls are adorned by an array of sporting images and memorabilia, along with big-screen TVs and two pool tables
• A segregated gaming room sustaining six machines
• A casual dining restaurant area serving short-order hamburgers, pizzas, and deep-fried dishes – with the kitchen also utilised to prepare bar snack food options for patrons in the main bar
• A bottle store with off-premise sales license
• A separate laundromat service with two coin-operated washing machines and two coin-operated dryers housed in their own cabin on the property and
• A two-bedroom accommodation unit usable as either a guest suite or as an owner/manager’s residence.
Fully functioning with the support of Manaia’s resident population, and pulling in a regular passing trade, the Waimate Hotel freehold land, buildings and licensed hospitality business are being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Taranaki, with tenders closing at 1pm on September 13. Salespeople Alan Johnston and Iain Taylor said The Waimate Hotel was once again the social hub of Manaia – particularly with the hospitality business now operating the town’s laundry service as a revenue stream.
“It’s an unpretentious country pub which is in the early stages of developing a new era of history and heritage from scratch… some 110 years after its first iteration. The ‘spirit’ of the pub though remains the same,” Mr Johnston said.
“As the heart of the community, the Waimate Hotel has hosted umpteen milestone birthdays, the occasional wedding, the occasional wake, homecomings, farewells, hunting club meetings, fundraising nights, All Black victory celebrations…. and even the occasional All Black loss.
“The open-plan format of the main bar area is complimented by the more intimate lay-out of the dining area. The two spaces work symbiotically with each other – allowing patrons to have a quite drink before dinner, or conversely having dinner then popping into the main bar area for a pint or glass of wine to round off the night.
“Entertainment at The Waimate Hotel ranges from the ‘D-I-Y’ pool tables and a darts board, juke box, and big screen TVs, through to hosting touring bands and entertainers. The grassed lawn and al-fresco deck area are popular with guests during summer too.
“The Waimate Hotel’s owners took advantage of the rebuild process to reconfigure their service offering – now selling more of a café-style food and beverage selection during the day – with the likes of sandwiches and cakes which are showcased in counter-top display cabinets.”
Mr Johnston said the addition of the laundromat facility had helped bolster revenues for the adjacent bar and café – with customers popping their laundry loads in for a wash and dry then popping next door to fill in the cycle time over a sandwich and a cuppa or glass of something to drink.
“It’s also given a whole lot of blokes in town the perfect reason to pop down to the local at night on the premise of doing the washing, and catching up with their mates at the same time over a beer,” he said.
Commercial-grade cooking equipment in the Waimate Hotel’s restaurant kitchen features a gas hob and oven, deep fryers, a stainless-steel extraction range, multiple stand-alone ‘fridge and freezer units, and a commercial-grade dish washer.
Mr Johnston said that with a considerable sealed space adjacent to the hotel’s accommodation block currently utilised as customer parking, there was an obvious potential for adding more accommodation amenities.