2 months ago

Southern View: September 11, 2018

6 Tuesday

6 Tuesday September 11 2018 Latest Christchurch news at SOUTHERN VIEW News Sooty set to move out of The Swamp Well-known publican Stephen “Sooty” Moffett is moving on from the Islington Tavern after 26 years. He sat down with reporter Anan Zaki to discuss the highs and lows IT WAS the night of September 4, 2010, the city was still in shock from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake which struck that morning. Businesses all over the city were closed, but on Main South Rd, the queues for the Islington Tavern, also known as The Swamp, spilled onto the footpath. “We never missed a day. There was just nowhere else [for people] to go. One in the morning and we had 100 people outside and 100 people inside and we’re only allowed 144 people,” recalls Mr Moffett. “At one stage we had 11 doormen, so it takes everything you make away. We had people dragging each other through windows, it was crazy.” The 54-year-old took over The Swamp in August 1992, and moved in above the pub. To this day he does not know how it became known as The Swamp. “No idea and no one has ever told me. It was always here. Whether it had something to do with the freezing works around here, I don’t know,” Mr Moffett said. The pub has remained a popular watering hole for freezing workers and rugby league players. When Mr Moffett took over, it was his first foray into hospitality. “My former in-laws were in the [hospitality] game, and at the time we thought it was a great idea.” Initially it was hard, working long hours to keep the business running, but that was just part of the “tough” industry. “I really slogged it out back then,” he said. One memorable moment that he will never forget in his 26 years at The Swamp was a breakin in the late 1990s. “The most bizarre thing that’s ever happened is I got robbed by two people in wetsuits and [they] emptied our gaming machines. “The alarms didn’t go off, the window was taken out and they came through,” Mr Moffett said. The break-in was caught on a CCTV camera, but police were never able to catch the thieves, he said. Mr Moffett started $5 roasts which packed in customers. “Twenty-six years ago, there was just less choice. Hospitality is really tough on the food game at the moment. “To sell a roast to a young person now would be pretty hard, whereas back then they would come looking for it,” Mr Moffett said. Behaviour at pubs have also changed for the better in recent years, he said. “Twenty-six years ago you’d be waiting at the back door for something to happen. It was the wild west. “Whereas now, if something happened it would make the newspaper,” Mr Moffett said. When fights broke out, he had no time for it and trespass notices were handed out almost immediately. Mr Moffett said he is selling the business to a “North Island-based development company.” He said the owners did not want to be named. However, Mr Moffett will still be at The Swamp until the new owners fully take over in late February. He decided to sell the business after struggling through a year of roadworks at Pound Rd from 2016 to 2017. “It was never really for sale, they [the new owners] came trying to buy it and I guess once you see roadworks around here, you realise how vulnerable you are to it affecting your business. “We had a drastic change in turnover, revenue fell about 20 per cent. But I’m not going to say how much we turn over,” Mr Moffett said. He does not know what the new owners plans are for the property, but he believes the name The Swamp will be kept. And what will he miss the most when he leaves The Swamp? “The people. The characters that come here, you get to know them all over the years,” Mr Moffett said.As for his own nickname, “Sooty”, it originated from The Sooty (TV) Show TIME’S UP: Stephen “Sooty” Moffett is selling the Islington Tavern, known as The Swamp after 26 years of ownership. which ran from 1955 to 1992. “When I worked at a supermarket as a schoolboy [in the 1970s], I used to pack sausages, and the boss of the butchery gave [the name]. “There was two of us [working under the boss], I was called Sooty and the other one was called Sweep,” Mr Moffett said. And he doesn’t plan to leave the industry just yet. “I’ve got another bar, Schroeder’s in St Albans. At this stage it’ll be the only one,” he said. However, Mr Moffett did not rule out buying a new bar. He has some advice for anyone looking into getting into the hospitality industry. “It’s [about] the customer, the customer, the customer,” Mr Moffett said. “No matter what you think, it’s about the customer.” Learn Computer Skills 0800 834 834 50 Hazeldean Road, Addington Looking for an administration role? This FEES FREE* 20 week course will give you the skills to work in a modern office, covering advanced use of Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher and other computer based business applications. For more info txt 'OFFICE' to 027 557 8839 *Conditions apply

SOUTHERN VIEW Latest Christchurch news at Tuesday September 11 2018 7 Local News Now Fire rages, homes at risk The future look of Collett’s Corner The design of Collett’s Corner in Lyttelton will be announced this Friday. The three finalists showcased their designs to judges and the public last week and people had the opportunity to vote online for their favourite. Check out the designs in contention and get a feel for what the future may hold for the 2300m² mixed use site AHHA: Chance Encounter The concept is based on creating places and spaces for chance encounters and interactions with others. This is a place that stimulates conversation and will become a hub for community gathering. Each activity housed in the building interacts with one another through internal courtyards, imbricating activities, laneways and engaging architectural forms – creating a destination not just for the planned activities but also for social gathering. in:flux: The Hive The Hive is a city within a town, a microcosm of Lyttelton and its community; a modular and permeable hub of AVONSIDE GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL YEAR 10 – YEAR 13 ENROLMENTS FOR 2019 Twenty places (20) are expected to be available for Year 10–Year 13 enrolments 2019. Enrolments close on 23 November 2018. A ballot will be held if oversubscribed. For further information please contact Tanya Phillips on Chance Encounter by AHHA interconnected activity. Lyttelton has a fine grain urban fabric. While the Hive is uniquely large in scale to house the multiple functions and create a civic presence at its prominent location, its volume was carved out and modulated to reflect the grain of London St and allow permeable sun-filled spaces – a contrast to the typically dark introverted buildings. Lyttelton also possesses an atmosphere of ‘organic’ and ‘artistic chaos’, which should not be lost in this development, but rather embraced though an ordered framework that is adaptable and allows the various characters of the town to create and grow. BRIGGS AUTO SERVICE Oto Group: We Dine Together Food should be shared. It’s a moment of warmth that brings us together, a common ground that connects us and fosters collaboration and communication. The concept is to bring together the landscape, people and stories of Lyttelton through food. The concept is for a central dining experience, tying together all the other spaces. As the concept is all about food, each space provides edible landscapes or uses food as a driver for human connections. LET US SERVICE yOUR VEhICLE And REdUCE yOUR RUnnInG COSTS your local trusted automotive service and repair specialists 332-0140 | 242 Barrington Street Kerry Briggs | Blair Shewan The Hive by in:flux We Dine Together by Oto Group The Best Souvenirs • Green Stone Jewellery • Woollen Garments • Food Supplements • Wooden Carvings • Sheep Skin Rugs • Souvenirs • Skin Care 105 Riccarton Road, Christchurch Ph 03 348-6010 | Open 10am - 6pm SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD PAPANUI MERIVALE STROWAN SPREYDON