A classic Kiwi country pub renovated to attract an urban clientele on day trips has been placed on the market for sale.
The Jolly Stockman Hotel at Matawhero on the western urban boundary of Gisborne has been trading since the 1950s – when its surrounding countryside consisted of sheep and beef farms. Now as Gisborne has grown, the immediate neighbourhood is made up of lifestyle block properties.
The hotel comprises a single-storey building on a site that was formerly a hotel and blacksmith’s workshop. Sitting on some 9.772 square metres of freehold land at 3 Saleyards Road some eight kilometres from Gisborne CBD, The Jolly Stockman land, buildings and business are being marketed for sale as a going concern by tender through Bayleys Gisborne, with tenders closing at 4pm on September 14.
Bayleys Gisborne salespeople Mike Florance and Colin McNab said the property had been substantially refurbished over the past two years – broadening its appeal to a ‘city dweller’ clientele in addition to both a loyal local rural patronage and the high volume of passing motorists travelling on adjacent State Highway 2.
“Like many country hotels throughout New Zealand, The Jolly Stockman has transitioned from serving a purely gumboot and singlet-wearing local rural clientele, into a destination venue by and increasing its appeal to encompass family-orientated clientele,” Mr Florance said.
“Saying that, the pub has remained true to its ‘regular’ customers who have enjoyed the brighter new format and wider range of both food and beverage options. The result has seen a substantial turnaround in profits for the business – more than justifying the investment.
“The modernisation has been delivered by opening up both what was originally the ‘public’ bar and the main dining room, removing old carpet flooring to reveal the rustic and now polished timber floorboards, bringing in a lot more natural light through the French windows, and placement of local artworks on the walls.
“The café environment of the dining room area has been enhanced by the indoor/outdoor flow with its al-fresco courtyard area overlooking the children’s playground amenities. The ‘community’ feel to The Jolly Stockman has been bolstered by the hosting of markets once a month.
"The Jolly Stockman has always been a popular destination for trucking operators because of its good off-road parking and availability of meals. It’s like a transport ‘hub’ for Gisborne’s truckers - were drivers swap updates on local conditions and ‘who is doing what’ ….. everything from customers and employers through to who is servicing their vehicles.”
Mr Florance said guest accommodation within the property includes a one-bedroom studio flat, seven rooms with queen-sized beds, three rooms with double-sized beds, three rooms single-sized beds.
“The Jolly Stockman has also benefitted substantially from the opening of the Rere Falls cycle trail and riders cycling out to the Eastwoodhill Arboretum with its expanse of exotic and native trees, shrubs and climber plantings,” he said.
“Being located just a few hundred metres off the official track, the pub’s accommodation is frequently booked by riders wanting an authentic Kiwi country pub experience which can’t be found at motels in Gisborne,” he said.
“The tavern is an official partner of the New Zealand Cycle Trail network and as a result, accommodation booking traffic is driven to the venue through riders researching the route online. Of course, The Jolly Stockman’s food and beverage operations automatically benefit from this by serving a virtual captive market.”
A commercial-grade and well-appointed kitchen at the Jolly Stockman serves a standard menu of deep fried and hot plate dishes such as chicken wings and hot dogs through to wedges, chips, nachos and hamburgers
Mr Florance said the arrival of a new highly-experienced chef signaled exciting menu additions along with the revival of the very popular summer business and family brunch/lunch promotions.
Cooking equipment in the kitchen features a six-burner gas hob and electric six-burner oven and hob, deep fryers, a stainless-steel extraction range, walk-in refrigeration unit, multiple stand-alone ‘fridge and freezer units, and a commercial-grade dish washer.
The Jolly Stockman bar and restaurant is licensed to serve up to 200 people, and opens from 3pm on Monday to Thursdays and from noon on Fridays to Sundays -with longer opening hours about to be reinstated for summer.