Grocer, cafe, bar in Wanaka

5:00 AM Saturday October 8, 2016 True Commercial

At the hub of a rapidly growing community, Sailz Lake Hawea has thrived as the only business of its kind.

For 11 years the Sailz cafe-bar has benefitted from a huge influx of visitors to Lake Hawea — its fortunes aided by being Wanaka’s sole general store.
Bayleys Wanaka sales people Mat Andrews and Jarrod Frazer are marketing Sailz as a freehold going concern, through a tender process which closes on October 21.
“The expansion of Queenstown and Wanaka will continue to generate greater interest in the region, and with Lake Hawea a popular destination,” Andrews points out.
“The area attracts many tourists all stopping in for a slice of characteristically Kiwi hospitality.”
Located on the south-western shore of Lake Hawea, Sailz occupies a 582 sq m site; it offers a three-pronged business opportunity incorporating the general store, cafe, bar and restaurant, he says.
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Sailz has been at the forefront a tourism boom at Wanaka — it helps being the only general store in town.
Renowned for homemade meat pies, ice-creams, and earnest hospitality, owner-operators Dave and Liz Matheson manage the business employing 12 staff.
The general store and cafe — at street level at 33 Capell Avenue — now opens 7.30 am through to 9 pm in summer, and 8 pm during winter months.
As the only general store in Hawea, the grocer is stocked with seasonal, organic produce, fresh meat, gluten-free foods and even a range of products from body care manufacturer ‘The Aromatherapy Company’.
A range of beer and Central Otago wines are available from the off-license.
Downstairs there are postal facilities and a sunny courtyard, with seating for cafe customers. The restaurant and bar on the second floor, comfortably seat 40 people — extending to 70 when the north-facing deck is fully utilised.
Perennially full with bookings advised, the menu consists of a la carte, with set menu and buffet options for large groups.
Meals range in price from $21-$70 per head, with the kitchen equipped to serve everything from ‘fish n chips’ to high-end gourmet meals.
Catering for conferences and wedding breakfasts, the business also operates a courtesy shuttle service with an eight-seater van, to transport dinner patrons transport from Wanaka and the Hawea.
The Matheson’s regularly serve up burgers and pizza from their takeaway menu, to keep local customers happy.
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The restaurant and bar on the second floor can comfortably seat 40 people.
They advertise a catering menu ‘for workers’ which is designed to fuel hungry road workers, builders and shearers visiting the region under contract.
Famed as an outdoor-lovers paradise, the Wanaka tourist bookings are growing exponentially. In July Statistics New Zealand reported tourist spending at $49 million – up 18.8 percent on the same time last year.
Andrews says that with many of the region’s visitors staying short-term, Wanaka has recorded 33,771 guest nights in June 2016 alone.
Sailz is reaping the benefit from this growth, being located en route to some of the area’s most frequented scenic attractions.”
Originally designed as a settlement to house workers who built the Hawea Dam in the 1950’s, Hawea now has popular walking tracks, with visitors calling in on their way to the Blue Pools, Dingle Peak and Isthmus Peak Tracks.
“One of the biggest attractions in the area, the Blue Pools are accessed at the end of a short walk through beech forest, where visitors flock to view the azure blue water and views up the Makarora River gorge,” says Andrews.