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Revamped Tinui Bar ramping up

A little over a month since reopening under new ownership, the Tinui Cafe and Bar has already reestablished itself as the area’s community hub.

The pub and the 1.9 hectares of land it sits on took a battering when Cyclone Gabrielle blew through in early February last year – just 10 days after previous owners Stuart and Cindy Sowry put the property up for sale.

Sold on July 10 on what was very much an “as is, where is” basis, the property had been promoted by Tremain Real Estate sales consultant Ash Thomas as “definitely needing some work” but one that presented a great opportunity for “someone who’s willing to roll up their sleeves”.

And that’s exactly what new owner Maurice Turner has done since taking possession of the property in August.

“The locals had already stripped out all the carpet destroyed in the flooding,” Turner said, but there was still plenty to clean up and reinstate, including replacing the flooring and insulation, and putting in new interior moulding and a stainless steel bar, all of which was achieved with the much appreciated assistance of “Gareth at Total Care Flooring Design, AC Floor Sanding, Max at 2K Design, Will from McKenzie Plastering, CE & R Electrical, and GasPro Plumbing and Gas”.

Although Turner grew up on the Kapiti Coast, he spent a lot of time in Wairarapa because his father lived in Masterton.

Having long had an ambition to own and operate a pub, he leapt at the opportunity to realise his dream shortly after returning from Australia, where he’d worked in catering and trucking for 11 years, snapping up the property for $105,000.

Since opening for business again at the end of February, the Tinui Cafe and Bar – which is open Tuesday to Sunday – “has been going really well”, Turner said, “with a lot of people coming in off all the stations in the vicinity – especially for ‘local night’ on Wednesdays”, which features a weekly ‘handle club draw’ that currently has around 30 participants.

Other regular events include Friday’s ‘Steak night’ in conjunction with a fortnightly pool competition – “We’re hoping to get the pool contest between the Tinui and the Whakataki at Castlepoint going again,” Turner said – and a Sunday roast offer supplementing the usual dinner menu that is available between 5pm and 8pm.

“There are other things that we’re looking to introduce,” Turner said, “but we’re still in the process of working out what people are particularly keen on, so if you’ve got any ideas, let us know.”

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