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It’s not everyday that a giant fibreglass crustacean goes under the hammer, so the auction of ‘Larry the Lobster’ is bound to turn some heads.
The beloved South Australian tourist icon is 17 metres high, weighs four tonnes and sits out the front of a restaurant and function centre in Kingston SE that’s being auctioned on Friday.
A new and improved Larry underwent $50,000 worth of repairs and “looks even better than he did originally,” said selling agent Linda Tait, from Ottoson Partners.
“The sculpture is nearly 40 years old so it had the antlers taken off and reconstructed and had some of the fibreglass replaced and had an extensive paint job,” she said.
“It’s certainly a unique listing that’s so far had interest from a franchise and several interstate buyers coming over to have a look. It’s already perfectly set up as a function centre.”
She declined to give an exact price guide prior to the auction but noted that similar commercial properties in the Kingston SE area were selling for between $300,000 and $400,000 and that the restaurant would likely sell for less than it did in 2007 as it was now vacant possession.
The property last sold for $450,000 in July 2007, when it had an established restaurant business.
The owners had been leasing out the restaurant to a tenant who decided to not to renew the lease.
They’ve now decided to sell up and focus on their building company.
Built in 1979, the restaurant was designed to look like a craypot, a popular symbol of the Kingston area where the main industry is crayfishing.
The original intention was to mount Larry on top of the restaurant to look like he’d been caught in a craypot, but council height restrictions prevented it and Larry was placed in front of the property facing the highway.
Larry was created by a sculptor in Adelaide – a three-hour drive away – and then assembled on the site.
In 2016 radio and TV personalities Hamish and Andy got behind a fundraising campaign to give Larry ‘plastic surgery’, by encouraging people to pinch a mate, film it, and upload the video on social media.
The 720-square-metre restaurant has a commercial kitchen, a liquor licence as well as a fireplace and an outdoor area.
In its early days the restaurant embraced the crayfish theme with a variety of seafood dishes, and had an aquarium with live crayfish.
The 4200-square-metre site at 6 Princess Highway Kingston SE goes to auction on Friday.