9th May 2018.
"George’s Bach” Pop Up in Whangamata was the newest spot for good beer, cider, and pizza, but its short stint in town is over, for now.
It was intended as a pop-up pub for summer, with a temporary licence to trade. But the success of the venue and overwhelming support from punters, and other local businesses, led the owners to apply for a permanent, licence.
Unfortunately a disgruntled neighbour took exception to the sudden popularity of the venue and filed an opposition to the application that would have limited the bar and café to only 45 people, making it an unviable business. So the doors closed in April and the fit-out has now moved to storage.
Co-owner Kevin Flynn – a Hamiltonian who’s been holidaying and surfing in Whangamata for 27 years - says, “We’re gutted. After trying to work with the opposer and council to find a way for us to continue trading and looking after the locals, it’s just not possible, so we’ve had to close the doors.”
It may not end there for George’s Bach fans though, “We’ve been blown away with the support coming our way since we told our regulars we’re being forced to shut after Easter” says Flynn. “The number of messages and offers of help from people wanting to help us stay open has been awesome. We’ve loved being part of the Whangamata community, so we’d like to stay in town but its early days and we’re still weighing up all the options. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster really”
Speaking about their future plans, Flynn reckons, “Keep an eye out. We now know there’s a huge appetite for good beer and food in a relaxed setting in Whanga. And we know we’ve got a formula that this town likes. He continues, “We’ve also found locals bloody love Good George beer and cider, so until we find a new spot we’ll make sure the supermarkets and liquor stores are fully stocked with squealers of good beer and cider for people to enjoy at home or the bach.”
Good George Brewing CEO Race Louden added, “We’re fully behind the George’s Bach team and know that our fans in Whangamata have loved being able to enjoy our beer and cider at their venue. It was such a great spot, so close to the beach. It’s a bummer that they can’t continue as they are but we’re all about sticking up for the little guy, and hate to see any small business caught up in red tape so we will be doing all we can to help get George’s Bach back up and running at a new address. We would have preferred to stay at that location, as it has added new life into a pretty average business, and people from that part of town were clearly enjoying the convenience and atmosphere.”
George’s Bach came to be in record time, Flynn says, “In a matter of weeks we managed to secure the lease, team up with local favourites Mizzoni Pizza and get the doors open, all in the mad scramble to Christmas. We pulled in favours and got creative but were stoked with how the place turned out, all in the nick of time with our first day of trading being 3 days before Santa arrived!”
And it turned out others liked the spot too, “The reception from locals and people on holiday has blown us away. The amount of times punters have told us George’s Bach was exactly what the spot needed has been incredible. It’s been a relaxed, friendly, family vibe and a great spot for people to come together.”