Brokers say an upgraded country pub - encompassing its buildings, land and business - that's for sale on the outskirts of Gisborne, has a strong following among both locals and tourists.
The Jolly Stockman Hotel began trading back in the 1950s, when the locality of Matawhero — on the western urban boundary of town — was all sheep and beef farms. Today the area is a tourist magnet, with excellent access to the national cycle trail, and mainly comprising lifestyle blocks.
The Jolly Stockman trades within a single-storey building on a large historic landholding at 3 Saleyards Rd, just a few metres from busy State Highway 2. Its freehold 9772sq m site once supported a hotel plus a blacksmith's workshop and still hosts a local market once a month.
The Jolly Stockman is for sale as a going concern property and business through Bayleys Gisborne via a tender sale process which closes at 4pm on September 14. The property features in Bayleys' latest Total Property portfolio magazine.
Bayleys Gisborne salespeople Mike Florance and Colin McNab say the property has been substantially refurbished over the past two years. This enabled the hotel to broaden its appeal to a city-dwelling clientele, as well as retaining patronage from locals and motorists, who pass by on SH2.
"The Jolly Stockman has transitioned from serving a purely rural clientele, into a destination venue. It has increased its appeal to encompass a wider, family-orientated clientele," says Florance.
"The pub has remained true to 'regular customers' who enjoy the bright new format and wider range of both food and beverage options. The result has seen a substantial turnaround in profits for the business — more than justifying the level of investment.
"Modernisation was delivered by opening up what was originally the 'public' bar and the main dining room; removing old carpet flooring to reveal the rustic and now polished timber floorboards; bringing in a lot more natural light through the French windows and placement of local artworks on the walls.
"The cafe-dining room now has enhanced indoor/outdoor flow, with the addition of an al-fresco courtyard area overlooking children's playground amenities. The 'community' feel has been bolstered by the hosting the markets.
"The Jolly Stockman has always been a popular destination for trucking operators, having good off-road parking and serving hearty of meals.
"It resembles a transport hub for Gisborne's truckers, a place where drivers get to swap updates on local conditions and who is doing what. They share the latest gossip on customers, employers and those servicing their vehicles."
Florance says guest accommodation within the property includes a one-bedroom studio flat, seven rooms with queen-sized beds, three rooms with double-sized beds and three rooms single-sized beds.
"The Jolly Stockman has benefited substantially from the opening of the Rere Falls cycle trail. It also draws cyclists who visit the Eastwoodhill Arboretum, with its expanse of exotic and native trees, shrubs and climber plantings. Also, being just a few hundred metres off the official track, its accommodation frequently gets booked by riders seeking an authentic Kiwi country pub experience, which can't be found at motels in Gisborne.
"The tavern is an official partner of the New Zealand Cycle Trail network, so bookings are driven through riders researching their route online. Of course, the beverage operations also benefit from this, by serving a virtual captive market of thirsty riders."
The Jolly Stockman's commercial-grade kitchen is a well-appointed unit which serves a standard menu of deep fried and hot plate dishes; from chicken wings and hot dogs through to wedges, chips, nachos and hamburgers.
Florance says the arrival of a highly-experienced chef has enabled exciting menu additions, along with the revival of the very popular summer business and family brunch/lunch promotions.
"Cooking equipment in the kitchen including a six-burner gas hob and electric six-burner oven and hob, deep fryers, a stainless-steel extraction range, walk-in refrigeration unit, multiple stand-alone 'fridge and freezer units, and a commercial-grade dish washer."
The bar and restaurant is licensed to serve up to 200 people, opening from 3pm on Monday to Thursdays and from noon on Fridays to Sundays — with longer opening hours about to be reinstated for summer.