Growing Juggs: Hamilton bar looks to expand across NZ

Keen to tempt tradies' taste buds

Last updated 08:21 28/01/2014
Juggs director Ruth Tuhoro, right, and staffer Ellise Critchley
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ
DIFFERENT FLAVOURS: Juggs director Ruth Tuhoro, right, and staffer Ellise Critchley are looking forward to expanding the brand nationwide.

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Hamilton's very own take on America's iconic Hooters bar is set to bust out across the country.

Juggs - a concept family bar modelled on classic American ribhouse chains such as Hooters, Applebys and Famous Daves - has been open on Greenwood St since July last year.

They advertise as the place to get "Cold Jugs and Hot Racks", along with running all-you-can-eat rib nights.

It is owned by husband and wife Ruth and Doug Tuhoro, but they are looking to sell the site to work on developing the brand and offering franchise-type deals to operators in New Zealand's other main centres.

Mrs Tuhoro said they were looking to go to Auckland and Christchurch.

"We've had quite a bit of interest in Christchurch. There's a lot of tradies down there and this sort of thing really interests those guys."

One of the things that set Juggs apart from other hospitality outlets was the focus on providing American-style service, Mrs Tuhoro said.

"We've had some really nice feedback from people that have been to places like Hooters in the States and they've said they liked this better."

This was something they were taking into account when looking for licensees to take on the Juggs brand.

"Operators definitely have to be innovative and create a fun, happy environment. You've got to be dynamic and pretty hands-on to run a place like this," she said.

It's something she and her husband have had to learn after they fell into the hospitality industry by chance. They acquired the Two Gun Saloon - a local pub on Commerce St in Frankton - after Mr Tuhoro had been out for a few beers one night.

"He came home and said: ‘I've talked to this lady and she wants to move on and I think we should do it'," Mrs Tuhoro recalled.

"Things worked out really well there. It was a happy accident."

The couple have two boys under the age of 5, and with Mrs Tuhoro due to give birth again soon, she said new management for the Hamilton venue would be a welcome break to let her focus on family.

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