New Owners for The Blacks Hotel

photo credit: The Blacks Hotel

The Blacks Hotel in Ophir may be remote, even by New Zealand standards, but it is bustling on any given night.

The pub will be the new home of former Manawatu couple Saskia and Chris Trembath when they take it over in the next few weeks.

The pair could not wait and had already packed up their gear and hit the road for greener pastures and adventures anew.

The pub will fulfil a lifelong dream of becoming a chef for the former dairy farmer and truckie Mr Trembath.

Mr Trembath tried to get a chef's apprenticeship when he left school, but they could only be obtained through a restaurant back then. After moving to Auckland and back, Mr Trembath ended up dairy farming in Manawatu for 25 years. He had been in transport for the last decade, but the dream of being a chef and owning a restaurant never left.

Mrs Trembath was born in Holland and came to New Zealand at 12 years old. She spent much of her life as a registered nurse in the remote Central North Island.

Despite attending the same high school in Fielding, the two only paired up a few years ago.

In February, the couple visited Queenstown and were blown away. When they saw the Blacks Hotel, they fell in love with it.

The Blacks Hotel, owned by the Stoddart family for the past five years, had become renowned for its quirky decor, much of which will remain at the new owners' request.

Mrs Trembath loved the quirky style, but they will mix it up with their own, she said.

On a previous visit, the Trembath's had met many of the Ophir-Omakau locals and were astonished by how friendly everyone was.

Mrs Trembath said they felt very accepted and were looking forward to meeting more people.