Long-term owner puts Annie's bar on market
Last drinks may not have been called at Annie's Wine Bar and Restaurant after all.
The Christchurch business may yet reopen, but without long-term owner Annie Edmond at the helm.
Alongside other tenants, the business lost its Arts Centre lease when the earthquakes damaged the historic complex.
With the old Annie's venue still a long way from being repaired, Edmond has not reopened despite hunting for new premises.
She has now decided to sell the company, of which she is the major shareholder, and let someone else have a go.
''We were very passionate about Annie's. But I have decided to retire a legend rather than come back a flop,'' said Edmond, who founded the retaurant and bar in 1992.
She hopes someone will buy her business, complete with the Annie's name, goodwill, and the plant and equipment salvaged from the site. She is still ''doing the sums'' on an asking price.
A new owner reopening somewhere in the Arts Centre would be ''ideal, perfect'' but she believes they would probably go elsewhere.
The centre has repaired the former Academy Cinema building and wants hospitality operators for it, but Edmond suspected the $1 million-plus fitout cost would deter all but major operators.
''You have to get resource consent and everything - there are many more obstacles than there used to be."
Edmond she had lost a lot financially and personally after the earthquakes halted her business.
''It was terrible, I lost my identity. Everybody goes through a grieving process, but you've got to be realistic and things move on."
She would be happy to help a new owner out with advice, and believes a new Annie's could be ''superb''.