The Fork and Tap looking to a brighter future

The Fork and Tap is housed in one of Arrowtown’s oldest buildings. Recent re-strengthening sees the restaurant and bar enter a new era. 

the  Fork and Tap in Arrowtown with early Autumn colours
The very popular Fork and Tap in Arrowtown expand/collapse

Built in 1874 from local stone, using mud as mortar, the Stone Cottage as it was originally known once served as an office of the Colonial Bank of New Zealand.  This branch bank handled more than $12 million worth of gold and made a notable contribution to the more than $74 million worth of gold exported from New Zealand between April 1857 and September 1880.  

Roll on to the mid-1920s when the building was sold to the Government and then passed into private ownership. In 1970 it was sold to a couple who converted it for use as a tearooms.  

Jeannie Crawford, who has owned the Category 2 heritage listed building for the last 14 years, was given until 2035 to strengthen the building. She decided not to wait that long but to get on with the job. It has been strengthened to 100% of NBS. The job was undertaken with the assistance of a $100,000 funding grant from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage EQUIP Fund. 

“It is the responsibility of the owners of a building, as guardians, to protect them,” says Jeannie. “This property is unique and precious to Arrowtown.”  She has thanked staff at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga for their advice and is thrilled with the quality of work undertaken by contractor Bamford and McLeod Construction and other local trades firms. 

The project also included taking off layers of old paint from the exterior to bring back the original lime wash coating, which also allows the building to breathe better. 

Jeannie has promised a grand re-opening party once COVID restrictions are no longer a concern. 

Meanwhile, Queenstown’s Altitude Brewing has marked the occasion by supplying a new hazy pale ale labelled ‘Full Glory’. 

David Watt