‘Popular New Plymouth pub’ now for sale

5:00 AM Wednesday October 12, 2016 Paul Charman

Sporty’s Cafe & Bar occupies a leased site of 809 square metres in the centre of the Fitzroy shopping precinct.

Popular New Plymouth hospitality institution Sporty’s Cafe & Bar is for sale for the first time in its 21-year history.

The sports bar is to be sold through a tender process, which will close on October 26, unless sold earlier by negotiation.

Sporty’s was launched by Commonwealth Games cycling silver medallist Tony Walsh and his partner Jan Hughes in 1995.

It is now run by Jan’s son, Brooke Hughes, who took over when the couple retired in 2004. However, Hughes says he is selling in order to spend more time on the equestrian coaching school, which he runs with his wife — top New Zealand rider Vanessa Way.

Hughes says the bar — at 50 Sackville Street in the suburb of Fitzroy — is a meeting place for many locals, “where everyone knows your name”, having hosted many legendary sporting events.

“I’ll never forget the year we opened the doors to Sporty’s. It was Labour weekend and the patrons were almost falling out the door — it was that busy. We’ve had a full house watching the Melbourne Cup year-in year-out, those days are absolutely legendary”.

Sporty’s Cafe & Bar occupies a leased site of 809 square metres in the centre of the Fitzroy shopping area, and is being marketed for sale by Bayleys Taranaki salespeople Iain Taylor and Alan Johnston.

The bar and dining area, which is open seven days a week, seats 98 people, while the large garden bar at the northern end of the building extends capacity to 140.

A brewery agreement with Dominion Breweries (DB) is in place till April 2019.

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The cafe is renowned for its $7 specials, including home-cooked casseroles and roast meals, pies and baked treats.

“As with all good kiwi bars, there is plenty of good home-style cooking on offer at Sporty’s”, says Hughes, who employs 12 staff across the bar and kitchen.

The cafe is renowned for its $7 specials, including home-cooked casseroles and $12 roast meals, along with pies and baked treats. There’s an off-license for alcohol to be sold and taken off the premises.

Also on-site are TAB facilities and an 18-machine gaming room at the rear of the building.

“Proceeds of the gaming machines benefit the local community, with previous beneficiaries including the local surf lifesaving club and sports clubs, schools, rescue helicopters and Canteen Taranaki.”

Sporty’s has several big-screen televisions lining its walls and screens everything from rugby, horse racing to pay-per-view boxing bouts. It also hosts live music events, Karaoke and bingo nights, with regulars dubbing it, “New Plymouth’s most popular local pub”.

The cafe and bar’s exterior received a fresh coat of paint earlier in the year, and the 16-space carpark was resurfaced in March.

Billing it as an authentic slice of Kiwi hospitality, Taylor and Johnston say the cafe and bar offers any new owners, “an interesting opportunity to capitalise on the established business and loyal local patronage”.

“While potential exists to overhaul Sporty’s, with new branding, the business is regarded as a local treasure and presently trades very well,” says Taylor.

Johnston: “New Plymouth is a great community. With house prices and rents in major metropolitan centres becoming more challenged, we have seen an increase in those seeking opportunities in the regions.

“The chance to buy a business at a time when New Zealand is experiencing a booming hospitality and tourism sector is very attractive to those looking for a change of pace.”

“Sporty’s Cafe & Bar is a proven performer, which holds great appeal for seasoned investors and provides certainty for those looking try their hand in the hospitality industry”, Johnson says.