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New owners offered the opportunity to forge a legacy at rural food and beverage venue on the market for sale

The land, building, and fully operational business sustaining a popular daytime café adjacent to the popular Hauraki Rail Trail in the Hauraki Plains have been placed on the market for sale.

Currently trading as The Old Forge Kitchen cafe, the visually appealing 120-seater food and beverage destination is constructed with rustic recycled timber and chic long-run iron – sitting on approximately 3,541-square metres of freehold land some 3.5-kilometres south of Te Aroha township.

The modern and very stylish barn-like 674-square metre premises with a prominent street frontage is located across the road from the 37-kilometre Te Aroha to Matamata leg of the well-known bike trail, with its bike racks regularly full of passing cyclists taking time out from the pedalling pleasure to enjoy a tasty breakfast or barista coffee.

The Old Forge Kitchen café takes its name from the colonial history of the site - once an old iron forge making stagecoach wheels and later horseshoes.

The Old Forge Kitchen is open five days a week during the day from Wednesday to Sunday, while hosting evening functions by arrangement. The venue’s large kitchen is fully fitted out with commercial grade foodservice equipment – including a walk-in refrigeration unit, in addition to free-standing chillers, ovens, a grill hob, dish washing unit, and deep fryer sitting amongst stainless steel plating and serving benching under a large extractor ducting unit.

The kitchen’s highly spec’d foodservice equipment, combined with spacious working layout, is capable of simultaneously preparing food for both a private function, and for customers dining in the main café area.

The land, building, and going concern The Old Forge Kitchen food and beverage business at 9 Alexandra Road in Te Aroha West are now being offered for sale by tender through Bayleys Ngatea, with the tender closing on March 14. Salesperson Josh Smith said ‘turnkey’ business was located within one of the most stylish countryside venues anywhere in the Waikato.

“Construction and interior décor fitout of The Old Forge was undertaken to the highest standards – and this is reflected in the customer amenities and ambience both inside and outside the building,” Smith said.

“With minimal refurbishment the interior could easily be converted into a craft beer bar – which would not only be a stylish hospitality destination for Te Aroha locals bearing in mind the business’s urban proximity to the town, but

would also act as a magnet to the nearby resident population catchments of Paeroa, Morrinsville and Matamata.

“The expansive open plan restaurant floor on a sleek polished concrete base could even be subdivided into a café zone for the day, and complimentary bar area at night, with the potential for uniting the two spaces for function bookings.

“Likewise, the existing rear outdoor space under the shade of a mature oak tree could be converted into a beer garden.”

The Alexandra Road venue has a separate function room to one side of the main dining floor, with a peaceful garden area under the shade of an old oak tree at the rear of the building.

“There is significant potential to elevate the business’s wider appeal to a substantial geographic customer base – primarily by expanding the existing limited array of smaller functions into service bigger client events such as weddings, anniversaries, family gatherings, and corporate events,” Smith said.

Smith said the open plan layout and design of The Old Forge Kitchen would also lend itself to being converted into a funeral home and wake reception venue, subject to council approval.

“Tasteful installation of thick floor to ceiling drape curtaining for example would enable the main restaurant floor area to be closed off from the foodservice portion of the café. In a theatre seating style, the resulting space could accommodate around 200 people,” he said.

“While food preparation activities at the venue may have to be curtailed, the kitchen’s existing large walk-in chiller unit could certainly be used for cadaver storage before and after funeral services – with a discreet delivery point at the rear of the premises away from public view for loading and unloading of hearses. The property’s existing liquor license would be an advantage for hosting wake gatherings after friends and loved ones bid one final farewell to their dearly departed.

“And of course there is plenty of parking outside for guests and attendees. Just as it would be if The Old Forge Kitchen was to grow as a function venue, the catchment area for funeral clientele is extensive – embracing Te Aroha just a few kilometres away, and the bigger townships of Matamata, Morrinsville, and Paeroa within easy driving distance. With carefully planned scheduling, such a funeral home venue could perform two services daily, every weekday.”

Click here for more information on the listing.

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