A legendary Bay of Islands bar and music venue is coming back to life after a decade-long hiatus.

Twin Pines, in a historic two-storey building at Haruru Falls, was the liveliest place in the Bay in its 1990s heyday.

It closed down about 10 years ago with the grand old front door unlocked and the dust swept away only for a few one-off events since then, such as a VSA fundraising party in 2012.

However, it has now been bought by ex-Auckland couple Trudi Tasker and Brett Wagstaff, who hope to re-open in December.

Advertisement

The couple, whose backgrounds are in hospitality and building, wanted to get out of the city and were looking for a house when they drove past Twin Pines. They hadn't planned to get back into hospitality.

"We just fell in love with it, so we sold up everything and came up here," Ms Tasker said.
They put in an offer last year and finally got a deal over the line about three weeks ago.

Mr Wagstaff said the building and features like the swamp kauri bar top were in remarkably good condition - "it was basically locked up and turned off" - but there was a lot to do before they could reopen.

That included a huge amount of cleaning, getting a building warrant of fitness, liquor licence, and health and hygiene sign-off. They were keeping the Twin Pines name but it would be a family restaurant and bar rather than a pub.


The support from locals keen to come back was incredible, Mr Wagstaff said.

"It's almost surreal. Everyone's thrilled the place will re-open and have a bit of life in it again."

At locals' insistence a shuffleboard game would be returned to the sports bar and the couple hoped to get the on-site microbrewery going again.

They planned live music on selected weekends and a courtesy van to Opua, Waitangi, Paihia and Kerikeri.

■ What is now Twin Pines was built on Auckland's Khyber Pass in 1895 for Presbyterian Social Services. It was to have been demolished in 1981 to make way for a carpark but was saved by the Putt siblings John, Gordon and Mamie, who had it moved to Haruru Falls. It is a category II Heritage NZ listed building. The name came from a pair of Norfolk pines said to have been planted by an early settler in memory of her deceased children. Only one stump remains.