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Golden-egg laying Goose goes on the market for sale

Golden-egg laying Goose goes on the market for sale

With a huge daily passing trade and local locals during the evening, the Loose Goose Café Restaurant & Bar in Tirau has been placed on the market for sale

One of the founding hospitality businesses which helped turn around a once-desolate rural township into one of New Zealand’s busiest antique and collectables centres has been placed on the market for sale.

The Loose Goose Café Restaurant & Bar in the small Waikato township of Tirau was among a handful of retail establishments at the forefront of the town’s rejuvenation during the 1990s.

At the end of the 1980s, Tirau was a town in economic decline - having seen its BNZ branch shut down, along with the town’s post office, butcher, baker, pharmacy, and landmark general store. Then a number of locals deduced that Tirau was strategically located equidistant between the large urban centres of Tauranga, Hamilton and Rotorua.

They also factored in the huge passing traffic count between Auckland and the Central North Island had little reason to stop at many of the Waikato’s small service towns. However, they did know that Aucklanders has a passion for antique and bric-a-brac shopping… and what was then a growing appreciation for espresso coffee.

The Loose Goose Café Restaurant & Bar was one of the first café-style hospitality operations to open in conjunction with the antiques and collectables retail outlets - helping keep passing trade in the town for longer. The Loose Goose business is housed in the former BNZ premises.

However, after almost two decades of continuous ownership, Loose Goose’s proprietors are selling up. The business is being marketed by Bayleys Tauranga

salespeople Brendon and Lynn Bradley, who said the café’s prominent wide street-
frontage position overlooking the Tirau’s main road ensured it was the first, or last, food and beverage stop for travelers.

“Loose Goose owners Basil and Carol started the business 17 years ago and have seen both the business and the town grow around them. But after a career of some 45 years in the hospitality industry, they are now looking to enjoy some of the fruits of their efforts and spend more time with their family,” Mr Bradley said.

The fully licensed business operates six days a week – serving traditional breakfasts and lunches, and modern New Zealand cuisine at night. The café has seating for approximately 60 patrons inside and a further 25 spots outside in a sheltered rear courtyard, with the customer patronage split between 60 percent locals and 40 percent visitors.

“That clientele split between locals and visitors enables the business to apportion its service style accordingly. By day, the focus is clearly on the ‘coffee and a muffin’ or ‘sandwich and salad’ passing trade. However, at night the venue morphs very much into a local eatery patronised by regulars for either casual dining or small gatherings and functions,” Mr Bradley said.

“The definition of ‘local’ encompasses residents from the nearby towns of Putararu, Matamata and Cambridge. With 17-years of continuous operation, Loose Goose has a built a strong reputation within that catchment area.”

South Waikato District Council’s extensive planning document for the town, entitled Tirau 2020, said Transit New Zealand data recorded had more than 11,000 vehicles travelling past Loose Goose on a daily basis.

“Tirau is recognised throughout New Zealand as a high quality boutique retail centre, visitor stop and destination. The main road’s antique stores, arts, crafts, and cafes are enjoyed by hundreds of people daily – making Tirau the bustling northern gateway to the South Waikato District,” said the Tirau 2020 report.

“The vision for Tirau is to enhance its status as a thriving retail village. Through careful planning, Tirau will remain a unique village It is continuously reinventing itself to stay contemporary and attractive.”

While a high traffic count outside Loose Goose’s front door ensures its prominent profile, there is off-street parking at the rear of the venue. The Loose Goose lease also includes a two bedroom home for either the owners or staff.

© Scoop Media

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