Leo Molloy is closing his waterfront bar and restaurant Headquarters on May 21 and the next day opening the doors for one last time to formally announce he is running for the Auckland mayoralty.
Molloy said today he had met some great people and entertained everyone in town from a few gangsters slipping in occasionally to rich listers and VIPs at the other end.
"But I would be lying if I said the last two years have been easy. For a majority of the last two years I have haemorrhaged money and that is not something anyone enjoys doing. It's a very, very difficult climate to work in," he said.
Headquarters was established as a temporary restaurant and bar on its current site in 2016 on a short-term lease that was extended until April this year.
It was initially erected as a central Viaduct venue for the Lions' Tour and subsequently went on to host a plethora of Viaduct events, including two America's Cup celebrations.
A listing has been put up on Trade Me to sell and relocate the Headquarters building and assets.
Molloy and Headquarters have regularly been in the headlines - last year he declared December 1 as freedom date at Headquarters when the Government had not given a firm indication when Auckland businesses could resume operating after lockdown.
In May 2020, Molloy planned a "dummy run" party with 100 of his best friends when the country was preparing to move to alert level 2.
His colourful list of guests included former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry, Destiny Church's Brian and Hannah Tamaki, former National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett and band members from True Bliss.
In March, Molloy held a supporter's event at Headquarters where he announced a "Comeback Plan" for Auckland.
Writing on his mayoral Facebook page on Sunday, Molloy said he will close on Saturday, May 21 and the next day hold a "rally, bold announcement, a rousing speech" to confirm he is running for the mayoralty.
The restaurateur said he will be taking a week off in May and from June 1 will be touring Auckland every day on his 50-seater campaign bus with key staff and four drivers rostered on and off.
Next week, Molloy is opening a campaign "war office" at an old warehouse in Herne Bay for volunteers to work the phones.
"It will be a very Google-style war office, quite trendy with maps everywhere, strategic targets and big-screen technology. It might even have a pool table and drinking facilities," said Molloy.