Alexandra Introduces Innovative Hospitality Hub

Over the decades the Central Otago township of Alexandra has seen many businesses make Talbert Street home and it’s now welcoming new business The Finery.


Longtime locals and enterprising owners Rory and Karen McLellan purchased the property at 19-21 Talbert Street in 2020 with plans to develop an innovative hospitality hub in the area.


And shortly after demolishing the previous onsite building onsite they got to work.


“We want to bring life back to hospitality in Alexandra and give back to the community we love,” says McLellan. “Our first step is to incentivise business growth in the area by drawing in visitors, and The Finery is an essential element of that.”



The extensive and adaptable space comes with three bars, a restaurant, café, whiskey bar and covered courtyard. Visitors and locals will be encouraged to start the morning in the café with its large outdoor space and safe kids area to the rear, stop in for brunch or lunch, enjoy a drink at the bar into the evening and quality dining in the restaurant. 


Harcourts Alexandra manager Andrew Little has enjoyed watching progress on the hospitality hub after Harcourts sold the property to the McLellan’s all those years ago – and has a birdseye view of how it’s going from the office across the road.


“It’s looking very impressive and like most locals we can’t wait to check it out,” he says. “Rory and Karen have done an outstanding job.”


Rory says many locals are accustomed to travelling out of town for quality dining but this family-owned haven aims to The Finery change that.


“It’s a building and a venue for everybody, with everything from a range of delicious food options to deluxe cocktails,” he says.


“This is my hometown and I know how good it has been and how good it can be.”



In another act of innovation, The Finery is offering its own training to those seeking a future in hospitality, complementary to trades apprenticeships offered through McLellan’s plumbing and heating business.


“Hospitality is a genuine career path, and it brings people together,” says McLellan. “The Finery is what we need to rejuvenate the town centre.”


McLellan has unmatched commitment to his community’s success and is also working on the Alexandra Riverside Park project which will serve as a community hub.


Andrew Little says Alexandra has seen huge investments in its town centre and hopes further business development will attract visitors away from other busy regional tourist towns.


“Alexandra is in the perfect position to go from strength to strength,” he says.


“In the past year we’ve seen residential property enquiries from potential buyers as local as Clyde and as international as New York and plans to rezone land for residential development are underway.


“These plans come at a time where sales in the area have double expectations in some months. Alexandra delivers a Central Otago lifestyle at half the price.”