Newspaper Article 1974 – Stortford Lodge Hotel

[Stortford Lo]dge Hotel has new […]

$150,000 building has many expensive features

Two years of planning and building costs of about $150,000 show up in the new bottle store at the Stortford Lodge Hotel. It is possibly the largest hotel bottle store in New Zealand.

The 10,000 sq ft building, started nine months ago and finished at the weekend, incorporates many expensive features new to Hawke’s Bay, and details most planners would not have thought of.


A four lane drive-through car bay to give access to the four departments of the store.

A 1000 sq. ft wine cellar quantity to be kept at a constant 52 degrees centigrade, the ideal temperature for storing vintage wine. It will be available for small private functions wine-tasting sessions wine and cheese evenings and customers will be able to buy wine and have it stored there for as long as they like.

Owner Mr Byron (Buck) Buchanan envisages private buyers storing their wine in the cellar for upward of five year. All the wines of the Hawke’s Bay Wine and Food Society will be stored there.

A “supermarket” system in the wholesale section of the bottle store. Customers can take a supermarket-type trolley with compartments for crates, bottles and flagons and get whatever type of liquor they choose before taking it to a checkout counter.

A chilling cabinet in which sparkling wines and some still wines will be pre-chilled for those people who decide fairly late in the day to have a party.

Sherry on tap

Three kinds of sherry – dry, medium and cream – on tap. Mr Buchanan thinks this is the first service of its kind in New Zealand. Buyers can bring and fill their own containers.

Stocks of chicken, scallops, peanuts and other foods on sale making the store what Mr Buchanan calls “a one-stop party shop.”

A 1000 sq ft cool room to store stocks of beer.

A 400 cubic foot deep freeze to store the ice made in two ice machines and for sale to the public.

$1750 worth of vacuum cleaner a mobile machine forklift which sweeps and sucks up dust and rubbish as large as soft drink bottles and will be used in the storage area yard and on the carpeted areas eliminating the dust problem.

‘Empties’ service

A department devoted to empties. It will take empty bottles of any sort and in any quantity from a crate up to a trailer-load or truckload. “We will pulp any that we can’t use and ship them away for recycling,” said Mr Buchanan. Most merchants did not make any provision for the recycling of glass he said, but the new store would do so primarily as a service to help keep the Hastings area free of broken glass.

The store designed by Mr Barry Sweet and built by J. C. Mackersey has a fulltime staff of five headed by Mr Noel Desmond.

It is divided into four departments – flagons, retail, wholesale and empties.

In the flagon department customers can watch the empties they return be washed and refilled. During peak sales times three-dozen flagons at a time will be wheeled out on trolleys from the cooling room.

Minimum sale

The large wholesale department – filled with racks and racks of wines and spirits and beer stacked on rollers – will operate on a minimum sale of two gallons and close at about 7pm each night.

The adjoining retail department will be open for full licensing hours.

Hygiene and efficiency have been stressed.

“Hygiene is of the utmost importance” said Mr Buchanan.

Time-and-motion studies were carried out on all aspects of the store’s business he said.

And despite the current shortages of building materials the store was built exactly to schedule.  All the materials were ordered as soon as the contract was awarded. “We haven’t been held up for anything at all,” said Mr Buchanan.

Dumb waiter

Upstairs there is a large storage area on a mezzanine floor linked to the sales departments by a $2500 dumb waiter and staff facilities.

They include a toilet area with a shower and a kitchen containing a stove and sink as well as a large office for Mr Desmond overlooking the sales area.

Photo caption – The Heretaunga St West frontage of the Stortford Lodge Hotel as it was in 1955, with the first of the three bottle stores established there at left. That area, converted from a lounge into a bottle store, has since been recon-[…]

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Stortford Lodge Hotel

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The Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune


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