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Historic Hamilton bar gets new owner

Diggers Bar in Hood St, Hamilton has been sold to locals Mark Flyger, Duncan Otto and Dave Rodger.

They are going to expand on the pub’s popular live music scene and offer Lion Breweries’ range and Guinness.  

The business, at 17A-B Hood St, was sold as a freehold going concern through John Hagar and Malcolm Southwick of Colliers International’s Hamilton office. 

The previous owner-operator of the bar has retired.    

The new owners also operate Biddy Mulligan’s Irish Bar in Hamilton.

Diggers Bar is in a 1903 building registered with the Historic Places Trust. 

The interior has been updated with new bathrooms and kitchen, timber detailing and historic accents, including a kauri bar running the full length of the room, antique ornaments, wagon wheels and wine barrels. It can accommodate up to 180 people across the main bar, outdoor seating areas and two function rooms.

The false-fronted, single storey brick and concrete building was designed by Auckland architect Thomas Mahoney and built by John P. Murray on land that was part of Hamilton’s original military settlement. It was renovated after a fire in 1911 and later used by retailers. In 1994 the building was lovingly renovated: the kauri floors were polished, the beautiful pressed metal ceilings were reinstated along with the two front sash windows, creating Diggers Bar and Café.