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Olivers

Central Otago Regional Identity Partner

A World of Difference

Nestled with quiet pride in Clyde’s main street, Olivers is an iconic restaurant, bar, brewery and accommodation venue laden with history. After purchasing the schist-stone property in 2010, Andy and David embarked on a loving restoration that honours the stories, culture and heritage of these remarkable buildings.

Andy and David Ritchie

Returning from overseas and after a stint in Auckland, Andy and David’s search to settle led them to stunning Central Otago, a place familiar and loved. With individual backgrounds in art and business intertwined with a shared appreciation of history, they were hunting for an exceptional project that would satisfy heart and soul. Instinctively, they sensed there was something intensely special about Olivers’ beautiful stone buildings.

“I suppose we are both really interested in history and Andy is very much into design. We saw this property and thought `There’s a 10-year project.’ And it was instantaneous with both of us, those buildings and gardens. We looked at the buildings and you could see what they could do. You know, how they could be - and that was it, we fell in love.”

Layering a Vision

Central Otago value: Adding Value

Layer upon layer, Andy and David’s vision and hard work have revitalised Olivers’ intrinsic value and beauty to offer customers a deeper, more meaningful experience. Olivers’ exudes modern quality and excellence in service and surroundings, yet stories of old are not forgotten - they are subtly and creatively blended in interior design ideas and conversation. Cue a new, invigorating chapter in the Olivers’ story.

“It’s trying to use the beautiful heritage buildings so they’ll be enjoyed. Hopefully we’re bringing out some of the depth, culture and heritage aspects in showcasing the buildings. Central Otago has so much potential, it’s just recognising special things and putting them out there. Anything we did had to highlight the many different aspects of the value that is here.”

A Permanent Treasure

Central Otago value: Making a Sustainable Difference

Inspired to create an enduring legacy, Andy and David have faithfully restored Olivers’ striking schist buildings, courtyards and gardens. Dwelling in perfect harmony with their surroundings, the buildings are some of Otago’s most significant. Originally built in 1869, they are classified as category one by Heritage New Zealand. To preserve the buildings collectively, the Ritchies have placed a caveat on the title so that they are never sold separately.

“We were both relatively hands on through the development process, building something that would last. This meant that the buildings probably would be looked after and have a life. So there’s sustainability in that they now have a purpose, they’ll be protected because people spend money on them and keep them going.”

Sharing the Stories

Central Otago value: Protecting our Rich Heritage

Keeping the past alive is a theme that’s integral to Oliver’s bustling daily life. In conversations with guests and locals, Andy and David take time to celebrate and reflect on the events of today and what’s gone before – be it the heady gold rush days, the Clyde Dam construction or local traditions. After all, today’s yarns are tomorrow’s history.

“Whether it’s `Which way are you going today?’ “Oh, you’re going over the Pig Route, oh well you must do...’ or `Did you know that was where rabbits were first introduced to Central Otago?” Or locals who remember things that happened, like falling down the restaurant stairs, whatever it is, good or bad. We’ve heard some fascinating stories - we love sharing our local stories.”

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