Owners of a Melbourne bar who are giving it away have been “overwhelmed” by the response.
Charlotte Tizzard, her brother James Tizzard and sister-in-law Katie Smith have owned the Hard Rubbish bar in Melbourne for over six years.
But the trio say they are getting older and “life has changed” for them, which means the Hardo is getting harder to manage, so they are looking for “younger” and more “energetic” new owners.
Instead of selling the business to the highest bidder, they will give it away to someone who comes up with the best plan for the bar, hoping to keep it a staple of the local community.
The trio noted that it was difficult and expensive enough to start a business without the new owner(s) having to pay them as well.
They list four reasons to give away the bar, including “because shitty capitalism.”
“Because not everyone has an extra $100,000 in their bank, especially creative types,” they said.
“Because we want to choose and we want our fantastic staff to have a choice, and because we want our community to help us choose who runs their venue and what their plans are.
“Because we’d rather you put your hard-earned savings into sailing the good ship Hardo into the future than give us rusty barnacles.”
The owners said their business had no debt and made a “modest” profit.
Whoever takes over the bar will have to pay other costs, such as staff salaries, utilities, vendors, and the owner.
People can submit their proposal in any form, including writing, a song, a cartoon, and an interpretive dance.
“As long as you clearly demonstrate why you think we should give you our bar and what your vision is for the venue going forward,” they said.
Proposals are due Oct. 15, and a short list of people will present their ideas during a question-and-answer session in November.
In a social media post, the owners said they had received an “overwhelming response” so far.
“Remember it’s a full bloody bar, and hospitality is hard work, so we want to see you’ve put real effort into your application,” they said.
“Best of luck and we can’t wait to see your fantastic and inspiring apps.”