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Iconic World Bar rises from ashes for American Express Queenstown Winter Festival

June 21, 2013 DESTINATION No Comments Email Email

It’s back – Queenstown’s iconic and much-loved entertainment venue, The World Bar, is launching a pop-up venue in time for this year’s American Express Queenstown Winter Festival which kicks off tomorrow.

Just one month after The World Bar’s 17-year-old venue on Shotover Street burned down, the iconic bar and restaurant will launch a temporary ‘pop up’ venue called ‘The Find’ opening from next Friday (28 June).

250x250TICBannerThe Find will be located in the former Thunderstruck Tattoo Studio on the second storey of 53 Shotover Street just 300m from the original World Bar, and will open its doors to the public for the first time to host Thank George It’s Friday, a much-anticipated event on the Festival calendar.

World Bar General Manager Gary Livesey and Marketing Manager Chris Barnhart have been searching for a suitable temporary venue ever since the tragic fire took hold on May 24, even undertaking a South Island road trip to gather inspiration.

“We understand that The World Bar won’t be quite the same without our old iconic building, but at the end of the day it was our awesome community and staff that made it such a special place,” said Mr Barnhart.


“Thankfully the fire couldn’t take that away from us and we’ve decided to launch a pop-up venue while we plan the new layout for the permanent World Bar.”


American Express Queenstown Winter Festival Manager Lisa Buckingham said she was “absolutely over the moon” that a new venue had been found for The World Bar in time for Festival.


“It’s great that the George FM Thank George it’s Friday night will go ahead as planned. The World Bar was an integral part of the Festival line-up and we’re so pleased that people can still dance the night away,” said Lisa.


“It’ll be a great end to the George FM DJ series which runs throughout Festival week. All the station’s DJs will unite for a fantastic evening of amazing music and the fact that it’s going ahead at The Find means it’s sure to be a great night.”


The Find concept came out of the South Island road trip, in which Chris and Gary drove from Queenstown to the East Coast to find unique items that reminded them of the original World Bar and its unique vibe.


“Trying to replace 17 years’ worth of memorabilia is impossible, but we decided to look at this as Day One of the next 17 year- plus collection,” MrLivesey said.



Known the world over for its innovative cocktails served in white teapots, The World Bar this week launched a Teapot Amnesty, encouraging anyone who has ever somehow ‘appropriated’ one of the bar’s famous vessels to anonymously surrender their teapot to the new pop-up venue on Monday, July 1st.


The new temporary location lacks the space to hold the larger acts that The World Bar was known for, so a re-think has been in order.


“We envision The Find being a gathering point for friends, food and drinks, focusing the entertainment on smaller acts and unique multi-media events,” MrLivesey said.


“There might even be a couple of sneaky special events too, so watch this space.”


In addition to entertainment, The Find will continue to offer similar dining fare to The World Bar, with a rotating menu focused on locally-produced handmade burgers and — of course – its signature Teapot cocktails.


Pop- up style venues are time-limited spaces that literally pop-up with little-to-no notice ranging from nail salons to bars, and are often found in hip urban parts of larger cities, such as Brooklyn, New York and London.


More recently, Christchurch has become a leader in temporary businesses, pulled together quickly after the earthquakes destroyed many of the city’s establishments.


“The Find will be around as long as it needs to be. We are already planning the new layout for The World Bar, but it’s likely going to be a while until we can get that up and running,” MrLivesey said.


“In the meantime, The Find will keep us and our staff very busy and our guests entertained.”


The Find opens officially on Friday, June 28thth.

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