The book lists one pub in Invercargill – the Northern Tavern. A newish pub at only six years old, it is not like the other old pubs with interesting stories to tell which feature in the book. But it replaces an earlier pub, one of those huge booze barn type of places with huge car parks which seemed to encourage heavy drinking, served bad food and was rather uncouth. Invercargill is one of a handful of places in the country still under the control of the Liquor Licensing Trust. In 2008 the Trust decided to update the aging bars, and with four million dollar makeover a new pub emerged in it’s place.
The Northerner, Invercargill
We had lunch in the bar - very tasty with great service. There was a family with young children at another table, and I bet they wouldn't have brought their littlies into the bar in the bad old days. There is also a restaurant, called the Saucy Chef, but sadly was not open on New Years Day for lunch. Just as well really, as the menu boasts duck, hare, wallaby, goat, beefalo (beef/bison) and with all those interesting choices I wouldn’t be able to make up my mind!
The assistant manager happily came out to sign our book, and told me she had already seen 10 of them in the bar. So it seems that there may well be quite a crowd of people doing a pub crawl too carrying the book under their arm. And a couple of the locals knew all about the book too, and told me that one of the regulars pictured had only just left the bar.
Locals and the barman wishing us well on our travels
The Invercargill Licensing Trust operates 24 businesses in the hospitality industry in Invercargill, including hotels, motels, restaurants, bars and retail liquor outlets. One of the objectives of the Trust is to contribute to the community, and they provide donations and sponsorships of approximately $8 million annually to nearly 500 organizations.