our history

Since 1937

how it all started

1937 - 1950

early days

The original Blacks was on Ophir’s Main street, but the business was moved to its current location when the track to nearby Omakau became a ‘busy’ road.  The building was finished in 1937 in Art Deco style. (Image – left): The opening in 1937, with the owner Eric Tikey and builders enjoying a whisky and milk.

1950 - 2020


The hotel went through various owners and some layout changes. The original 3 arches were reduced to one, the outside bar area was properly established and the range of beers, wines and spirits increased.

2021 - Present

new owners

Chris and Saskia bought Blacks in 2021. With no background in operating a bar, they had to hit the ground running. Now firmly established as part of the community, Blacks offers a real central Otago experience for travellers and a great place for locals to catch up. Good as gold.