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Heard it on the grape Vine

Heard it on the grape Vine

A popular Taupo restaurant and bar, owned and operated by some of the town’s more seasoned hospitality stalwarts, has come to the market as a business going concern operating from leased premises in the central business district.

Vine Eatery and Bar was established in 2011 by a syndicate of Taupo locals - some of whom have been in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years - and evolved out of the iconic New Zealand wine store, Scenic Cellars.

The business, which turned over $1,400,000 in its first year of operation, was recently awarded a certificate of excellence by the world’s largest online travel site Trip Advisor whose research placed Vine Eatery and Bar in the top 10 percent in the world for customer satisfaction in 2013 based on guest feedback.

Offers for the business as a going concern are to be received by Bayleys Taupo by 10 April.

Yvette Westerman of Bayleys Taupo says the business in Tuwharetoa Street is a near-new set up with high quality chattels and clear target markets. An entrepreneurial new owner could take the operation’s offerings to yet another level.

“The Vine is a comprehensive and competitive hospitality venture which has more than held its own in Taupo dining and social circles with its innovative approach to menu planning, beverage selection, and responsive customer service, “says Westerman.

“The operation could evolve even further from its current format to offer a broader selection of wine, or a delicatessen-type adjunct to the food and beverage range.

“Given the 462 sq m of space over two levels that the leased premises provide, a new owner could also potentially sub-let part of the ground floor for a complementary business venture such as a homewares outlet or florist, for example with the approval of the building owner.”

There is a 10-year lease in place for the business from 1 July 2011-2021 with two-yearly rent reviews – most recently, July 2013. The rent is currently $90,000 p.a. + GST.

When the current syndicate set the business up, they identified their key markets as professionals, older empty nesters and women’s groups saying there was a gap in the existing hospitality landscape to cater for a more discerning clientele who appreciate good food and wine in a sophisticated environment.

“While the Vine’s regular client base tends to be local, the visitor market is also important to them,” says Westerman.

“There has been an increase in commercial visitor arrival numbers and visitor night stays for Taupo, as well as a rise in total visitor spend. Domestically, an increase in economic confidence has seen average customer spend at the Vine increase.”

The Vine offers many dining options including standard table seating, booth seating, long tables which seat up to 70 people and a flexible bar area with leaners, standard tables and couch seating.

“There are also two private dining areas – the balcony which seats up to 22 people and the vintage room with seating for 12,” says Westerman, adding that the Vine is open seven days a week from 9am until late.

“The catering options are also adaptable to client needs and range from a quite conventional breakfast menu, through to shared plates (tapas-style), bar snacks, cabinet food, platters and one-off menus for large, long table dinners.

“The Vine has secured the services of an internationally-focused chef who has embraced the challenge of providing innovative and exciting food.”

The owners’ commitment to excellence follows through into their decision to serve Allpress coffee, and craft beer from some of New Zealand’s trendiest brewers. This also sets them apart from other operators in the Taupo market place.

The premises of the Vine Eatery and Bar have been customised to provide a welcoming and interesting space. The double stud height and industrial-look ceiling are offset by high-end chandeliers and furniture.

“The business has accrued a loyal and steady following of Taupo business people who utilise the Vine for social functions, business meetings and fundraising events,” says Westerman.

The current owners have a well-defined and proactive marketing plan which includes radio, print, website and Facebook page all managed by marketing professional allowing them to focus on the day-to-day running of the venture.

The close to $250,000 worth of chattels which form part of the business sale include security cameras and recorder, an antique champagne rack, Matai table and chairs, a beer keg cooler, air-conditioning units, display cabinets, full kitchen fitout and office equipment.


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