1880s Store serving in new capacity

Ophir's newest business occupies one of the town’s oldest buildings.

Pitches Store opened in 1863 and, when the original building burned down, it was rebuilt in 1883.   The new building was partially destroyed by fire in the 1950s and was left derelict and used for storage until current owners Colleen and David Hurd bought it seven years ago and undertook a labour of love to return it to its past glory. 

After six years of hard graft the result was Pitches Store accommodation and dining, which opened last year.   Mrs Hurd said the result was worth the effort.   ‘‘We just loved the building and wanted to bring it back to life.   ‘‘This was probably the biggest thing we have ever done.   ‘‘There were moments when we thought ‘what were we thinking?’, but we got there.’’ Mrs Hurd said she could not be happier with the restoration. ‘‘It’s exceeded expectation and we have been really happy with people’s reactions and support,’’ she said. ‘‘People come here and just go ‘wow’. ‘‘and I think they are just so pleased to see it come back to life and be used.’’

It was the support of people throughout Central Otago which surprised her the most, Mrs Hurd said. 

‘‘We didn’t really know what to expect [when we opened for business]. 

‘‘But we have been really supported by people as far away as Maniototo, Roxburgh and Wanaka.’’

Mrs Hurd said the restaurant offered a relaxed atmosphere and a good ambience, with a menu built around local produce.

‘‘We like to use local, fresh ingredients and really lovely, simple flavours.   ‘‘We havea great staff. Our kitchen staff is fantastic,’’ she said. 

Pitches Store is open seven days a week from 10am.   Accommodation is also available.