Got a good idea for a bar in Melbourne? Always wanted to own your own bar but never wanted to pay for it? If you’ve got a decent enough business idea that’s unlikely to suck the soul and character out of popular Preston local Hard Rubbish Bar (known to Melburnians as ‘The Hardo’) then the owners of said watering hole want to give it to you. You aren’t buying it, to be clear. They quite literally just want to give it to you, for free. With no strings – or, importantly, debt – attached.
Now that co-owners Charlotte Tizzard, James Tizzard and Katie Smith are walking away from the kitschy establishment after almost seven years, plans are in place to give Hard Rubbish to anyone competent and imaginative enough to carry on the bar’s legacy without turning it into a “super schmick wine bar.”
A website simply called Giving Away Hardo has been set up by the owners with all the details one needs to apply to be the new owner of the joint. And it’s not a shabby, low-profile bar either. The Hardo has been one of Preton’s most popular drinking spots for the better half of a decade now, considered a stalwart business for Northside locals and an easy favourite when crawling around the area in search of a decent craft beer and a jaffle.
Said website has all the details on exactly why the owners are deciding to take this unconventional approach to divesting the Preston bar.
“We want to choose and we want our fantastic staff to be able to choose and because we want our community to help us choose just who takes over their local and what their plans are,” the owners wrote, in addition to adding “because f**k capitalism” as a reason.
But, of course, even if you’ve got the vision, have done your research and somehow become the new owner of this bar, you’ll still need to have money in the bank.
“We don’t want your money, but the Landlords, Utility companies and Suppliers will. You’ll need to demonstrate that you have the resources to cover your cost (rent, stock, wages) to get you through the first few months,” the owners continued, while also offering to supply details of all costs plus profit-and-loss reports.
Talking to ABC, Tizzard mentioned the bar currently makes a “small margin” of profit. Although I’m sure if your plan is good enough, you could widen that by a considerable degree.
Business proposals will need to be in by October 15 so you’ve got just over a month for you and your mates to think of a plan for your new bar. Proposals will be shortlisted and each notified by the end of October, after which all successful applications will need to present their plan to the owners, regulars and local community at a “Q&A night” held sometime in November.
If you’re serious about this, give Charlotte Tizard a call on 0414 704 077 and e-mail your proposal through to [email protected].