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Tavern sold . . . The Hawarden Tavern which was sold at auction last week. PHOTO: AMANDA BOWES

By AMANDA BOWES

The Hawarden Tavern building is to stay in local hands after being sold at auction for $141,500 last Friday.

The Sterne family, from Medbury, bought the tavern at what was described as “a snip” by a tavern trustee.

The family has yet to decide on the future of the building, as it was a late decision to put in a bid, says Holly Sterne.

Tim Elms, a trustee of the Hawarden Licensing Trust that owned the building, says the price achieved was “very disappointing” .

“Even though there was half a dozen bidders it was hard to get decent bids, however once the bidding stalled and we had a chat with the auctioneer it was decided to sell. We really had no other choice,” he said.

The tavern was owned by the community via the Hawarden Tavern Licensing Trust, but with the tavern not making any money for the past few years, the licensing trust was accumulating debt with no way of servicing it. Auditing, insurance and other associated costs have risen substantially and the income from leasing the tavern was not enough to cover these costs, let alone return any money to the community.

Changes in social attitudes to drinking contributed to the lack of custom over the years and the tavern was no longer a viable business.

The Trust’s three bedroom house, which is on a separate title, was passed in at the auction. Once debt has been paid, proceeds left from the tavern sale will be used to tidy it up and it will then be sold. Revenue generated will go back to the community.

“We are not sure how the final amount of money will be distributed into the community as there are lots of other issues to be dealt with first, but it will go back to the community eventually,” says Mr Elms.