Backbencher fire claims political puppets
Wellington's Backbencher pub will be back to "keep them honest" by February, though the fire that gutted the building has not been without casualties.
In June, a fire took hold of the politically-themed Molesworth St pub and restaurant causing major damage to the kitchen and interior.
The pub has since been out of action and Mr Boyce at first predicted a return within a month, but it had taken much longer to sort insurances and conduct repairs.
Many of the Backbencher’s beloved political puppets were damaged in the fire and although they are being remade over the next few months, several well-known faces won't be back.
Among the casualties are United Future leader Peter Dunne, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and former ACT leaders Rodney Hide and Don Brash.
"They are gone, finished, washed up - whatever," Mr Boyce said.
New faces will replace the old but Mr Boyce hinted there would be one "quite tenacious, outspoken" face from the old guard that would be returning.
He also said Maoridom and women would be represented.
Mr Boyce said there was still quite a bit of work to do inside the building but all going to plan, he was aiming for a February comeback.
"If I had power over the decision it would have been amazing. We are now in the middle of demolition (interior only) and have a programme in the works to be open in February."
Insurance had come through for the most part, though it had not been without hassle.
Mr Boyce has put up a billboard outside his pub outlining the process he has gone through to get back up and running. "It's just drama, I'd rather be open doing my thing but these thing are forced on you."
He hoped the pub would be back for at least another 20 years to "keep them honest".
The June 8 fire was caused by spontaneously combusting teatowels.
Teatowels were taken from the drier and heat stored in the bundle started a fire that spread from the kitchen to the restaurant and bar area.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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