Farewell jellyfish, flag of Scotland, and faux foliage.
Pastures real and new await the fab four who have fronted the Blacks Hotel at Ophir for the past five years.
Sam and Sandy Stoddart, their son Alex and his fiance Jaz Campbell have sold the hotel and are moving on, with the new owners taking over the Art Deco landmark this month.
They put a unique twist on a traditional Kiwi country pub with some eccentric decorating ideas.
The question on the lips of everyone who has ever visited the hotel in recent times is what will happen to the jellyfish suspended from fake foliagecovered antlers, like the deep sea version of mistletoe?
‘‘They’re coming with me,‘‘ Mrs Stoddart said firmly.
But apparently not in the caravan that she and Mr Stoddart are taking to the road in about mid-October.
‘‘I hope not,’’ he added.
They will go into storage with the family treasures. The ceramic and muslin jellyfish were from Greece originally, to which the Stoddarts would like to return next February to visit their daughter Chloe.
Mr Stoddart, aka The Naked Scotsman of sauce-making fame, recently hit retirement age and was looking forward to finally having the time to write a cookbook ‘‘and do some fishing’’.
Mrs Stoddart could not wait to do ‘‘lots of walking and seeing New Zealand properly by caravan’’.
‘‘A different location means a different walk every day.’’
‘‘The kids’’, Alex and Jaz, could have stayed on and kept running the pub, but it just didn’t feel right, Alex said.
‘‘We have been a great team and it’s time for us all to move on. Sandy and Sam have worked really hard and they deserve to go off and do their own thing,’’ Miss Campbell said.
Covid-19 had had an impact in 2020, but was not the reason for them going their separate ways.
‘‘Actually, the business hasn’t taken a big fall at all. We actually got busier. It’s just time for us all to free ourselves up,’’ Mrs Stoddart said.
Alex, at 24 and possibly New Zealand’s youngest publican, and who has started an online Host Responsibility Training programme, began studying law this year.
He and Jaz will be based in Dunedin, where he will be dividing his time between university and the business that young couple started, The Alchemist Mixology. Their portable cocktail business has been keeping them busy at both local and national events.
They expect to be meeting up with their parents/in-laws on the road, for their decorating and syrup-making skills.
‘‘I expect we’ll be following the kids around,’’ Mrs Stoddart said.
The Stoddart parents were proud of their young business partners.
‘‘Their social media and website skills took the business to a whole new level,’’ Mr Stoddart said.
‘‘When Alex said to me that he wanted to serve cocktails at a [New Zealand] country pub like they do overseas, I said ‘Darling you’re dreaming; ain’t going to happen’.
‘‘Well, he proved me wrong.’’
It had been sheer entertainment seeing big burly farmers asking for a Flirty Lady (cocktail).
It was not long before the cocktail business was in demand for hen parties, and looked set to become a feature at the Central Otago Craft Beer Festival.
The Stoddarts/Campbells will be saying goodbye to the community by staging a cocktail party on Saturday, October 2 from noon to 5pm.