Located in the tourist village of Hobbiton — a town that has been open to the public since 2002 — the new pub is intended to make the visiting experiences all the more Hobbit-like. The pub manager, Russell Alexander, estimates that the release of the new Hobbit film will bring in at least 100,000 visitors over the next year. That would be quite an increase, as Hobbiton has been visited by 300,000 people over the past decade. The bar, named The Green Dragon, opened to the public in late November after New Zealand Prime Minister John Key conducted a “chain cutting” ceremony.
Located near Matamata, the Hobbit village was built in 1998 by Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema as a set for the films. But now, in preparation for the upcoming Hobbit trilogy, it has been expanded to include 44 “Hobbit Holes,” or dwellings, which feature the characteristic circular doors made famous in the movies. Hobbiton Board director and former Tourism New Zealand boss George Hickton said that in future it may be possible to convert the facility to allow for overnight stays. I, for one, think that would be an amazing time and would sign up in a heartbeat.