Alameda’s New Zealander Pub: Closed

Friends and neighbors of the New Zealander Restaurant and Pub say the popular West Alameda spot closed its doors in late January.

The New Zealander had been open for several years at 1400 Webster Street, next to Croll’s Pizza in the Croll’s Building.

 The proprietors were Clive and Donna Hitchens. The pub’s website explains that Clive was named New Zealand’s Chef of the Year in 1988.

Bands like “The Lost Cats” played there regularly on Fridays.

We are looking into what factors, like the weak economy, may have contributed to its closure.


From Pop Inn to Churchward Pub in Alameda (Part I)

Churchward Pub in Alameda

A look at the new Churchward Pub, aka the Pop Inn, on Park Street in Alameda.

The Pop Inn’s turned into the Churchward Pub, at its old location, 1515 Park Street.

It’s got three new TV screens and a lot more to offer locals, regulars and visitors from all over, says owner Joe Churchward, a 1996 graduate of Alameda High School.

Joyce Holsman (pictured above) still tends bar.

“I want to do this with a more European style and as a tribute to Alameda, ” says Churchward, who adds that historic photos and other artwork will be put up soon.

The place already celebrates happy hour and also has a DJ on Saturday nights.

The whole Churchward family is involved in the effort, according to Joe, such as his sister Lisa.

“This area has so much to offer, so I wanted to make this place really nice. I’m pleased that people have responded so well so far.”

With its official grand opening on October 3 behind it, the pub owner hopes that more of the old clientele and new guests will stop by for football games on Sunday or during other times.  

The Churchwards trace the roots of the Pop Inn to 1927, when it was allowed to sell liquor for medicinal purposes. But the real origins need further research, Joe explains.

Meanwhile, he is pushing the new bar online, at MySpace and Facebook. Cheers!