The Commercial Tavern, a historic Ashhurst pub, has sold after six months on the market.

The tavern was sold by its Auckland-based owner this month.

RE/MAX real estate agent Stu Kidby said there’d been a huge amount of interest in the tavern, with potential buyers from restaurateurs to church groups, but it had taken a while to find a buyer.

The historic building, with its pub and five bedrooms, has a registered value of $320,000 but was on sale for a lot less.

Kidby said it was originally marketed for tender, then for $250,000 before finally dropping to $199,000 at the end of November.

There had been rumours that whoever bought the pub would take the old building down, but the new owner was keeping it, he said.

“That’ll please the locals, none of them wanted to see it go.”

A lot of people in Ashhurst were surprised that was even an option, most of them thought it was a registered heritage site but it wasn’t, he said.

Ashhurst resident Kerry Griffiths said the tavern was the last big commercial building of any age left in Ashhurst.

“The Commercial is the last one left. The rest were either burnt down or pulled down,” Griffiths said.

The original building on the site was built in 1890, and was called The Ashhurst Family Hotel by then-owner Thomas Nelson.

It was destroyed by a fire in 1900.

The hotel was rebuilt in its current form in November 1900, and remained a hotel for almost a century.

Kidby said the Commercial stopped being a hotel about 30 years ago after changes in legislation meant the building would need work done to bring it up to the new code.

There was an accommodation shortage in Ashhurst so Kidby said it could be worth putting the work in to make the Tavern a hotel again, but the new owner had other plans.