October, 2021Though its one of Arrowtowns older buildings, The Fork and Taps now
one youd most want to shelter in during an earthquake.
After a new system for managing earthquake-prone buildings came into
effect in 2017, Queenstowns councils singled out various buildings that
need seismic strengthening by a certain date or theyll be condemned.
Built in 1874, The Fork and Tap which has latterly housed a
restaurant/craft beer bar
received a low rating, and owner Jeannie Crawford was given till
2035 to bring it up to
Having owned the Heritage New Zealand Category 2 building for 14
years and the business for the past 10 years, she decided not to wait
it was time for the inside to have a bit of a revamp, she was looking a
little bit tired.
Work started in early February and finished just two weeks ago.
The whole projects been massive, she says.
She wont reveal the cost but did get a $100,000 grant from the Ministry
for Culture &
Heritages Heritage EQUIP fund, which has just been canned and a
$3000 council heritage incentive grant towards professional fees.
Crawford decided to go for a 100% seismic rating.
Were wanting to preserve it for generations.
I think its the responsibility of the ownership of the building were
just the guardians, really, for something thats unique to the area and
precious to Arrowtown.
The work included stripping the building down to its foundations and
removing the ceiling.
On Heritage NZs advice, and to Crawfords surprise, raw steel used to
strengthen the building has been left exposed.
They wanted it so you could walk in and you know somethings been
done to preserve
Shes thrilled with the quality of the work undertaken by contractor
Bamford McLeod Construction and other tradies her aim was to give
work to local firms.
Crawford says people had stopped her in the street and gone, Oh my
god, what are you
doing? Youre not modernising it?
She was happy to reassure them we really wanted to make sure it
was very much in fitting with the heritage of the building, and our local
customers could come in and still recognise it was The Fork and Tap.
Though the new bar, decorated with oak panelling, brass and dappled
glass, has been repositioned, it still runs 19 taps.
Even though the project took longer than intended due to joinery
being delayed and the latest lockdown drinkers and diners had use of
a pop-up bar, the Den, out the back.
We shut down for a day, and even then we had drinks at the end of
The project also included taking off layers of old paint from the exterior
to bring back the original lime wash coating, which also allows the
building to breathe better.
A fresh layer of lime wash will be added next.
A second stage, still to be scheduled, will include a new kitchen and
toilets and an office.
Were just going to take a breather, Crawford says.
Once were back in Alert Level 1 therell be a grand reopening party.
Meantime, Queenstowns Altitude Brewings marked the occasion by
supplying a new hazy pale ale labelled Full Glory.
Source: Mountain Scene
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