11 Jun 2013

Landmark student pub set to close

7:48 pm on 11 June 2013

One of the landowners of Dunedin's Captain Cook Tavern says the university is not stepping in to save it.

The Otago University Students Association has been lobbying to have the landmark student pub taken over by the university or another party, possibly as a non-commercial service promoting safer drinking.

The Captain Cook Tavern, which dates back to 1860, is set to shut on Friday after the bar owner and DB Breweries gave up the lease.

A landowner, Greg Paterson, says his company and the university could not reach agreement in talks.

Mr Paterson says there is some interest in taking on 'The Cook' but nothing firm because it will depend on what condition the buildings are in after the current tenants leave.

In the past four years, other student pubs the Bowling Green Hotel and the Gardens Tavern have closed. They were acquired by the university and used as academic facilities.

Otago University Students' Association president Francisco Hernandez said drinking at licensed premises is safer than the growing practice of drinking at home.

Mr Hernandez said the association has been talking to a range of parties about taking over The Cook as a student service.

The Captain Cook Tavern is set to close on Friday.

The Captain Cook Tavern is set to close on Friday. Photo: RNZ