Expansion plans for rural pub
AFTER a few decades of running pubs with her husband on the central coast of Queensland, Kay Barbeler is glad to be back serving beers in her home town.
The new owner of the Royal George Hotel spent most of her school years in Rosewood and used to visit the historic pub back when her friend's parents owned it.
“Coming here brings back a few old memories; it hasn't changed much since I was last here,” Mrs Barbeler said.
“It's a nice old country pub.”
But there is always room for improvement.
While the Barbelers don't plan on changing the country vibe, they have some big ideas to make it more family friendly.
Mr Barbeler, who is still up near Rockhampton running the couple's other hotel at Keppel Sands, said short-term plans included a bottle shop and back deck for outside dining.
Long term, the new owners hope to use the vast space behind the pub to build a motel.
“The bottle shop is definitely something we're looking at within the next 12 months, subject to council approval of course,” Mr Barbeler said.
“Rosewood is a real growth area, along with the rest of the south-east corner. Everything is happening there.
“I have been a publican for 30 years and I still enjoy it.
“I still like the public, although it does require a lot of patience to run a pub.”
While not wanting to go into too much detail over the price, Mrs Barbeler said she felt that she and her husband got a good deal buying the Royal George when they did.
The pub also came with a large parcel of land to the rear which includes a three-bedroom house.
It was sold to the couple after a five-week tender campaign – conducted by Real Estate Agent Ray White – which attracted 80 inquiries from interested hotel operators, retailers and commercial investors.
Paul Hoskings from Ray White Commercial said the pub had been successful and was only a reluctant sale due to personal and unforseen circumstances of the previous owner.
“There was a lot of interest in the pub; a lot of offers,” he said.
“It's a great opportunity there.”
Loyal customers might be relieved to know that existing Royal George Hotel managers Ann Ward and Trevor Buckingham will stay on under the new owners.
“We want to create a family atmosphere,” Mr Barbeler said.
“We'll be looking for local clubs to come in to run their raffles.”