A 148-year era of Adelong history may have come to an end with the closure of the Royal Hotel.
The lease of Derek O’Donovan, who has been the licensee for the past two years, ran out on Wednesday night, and he is not overly confident of the pub reopening soon.
“We have had a couple of people look at it, but nothing has become of it,” he said.
“It is not us closing it down,” he said.
“The owners are Sydney investors. It will be locked up and put in the hands of brokers who will try to get it leased. It will definitely be closed for all of January, and nothing is likely to happen until February. I hope someone takes it on.”
Mr O’Donovan, wife Kristy and children Ella, 11, and Tate, 16, are born and bred in Adelong, and are going to miss running the Royal.
“We love the town, and we have been well supported by it,” he said.
He is worried about the affect the closure will have on the town.
“It is a damn good pub, a good family pub with meals and accommodation,” he said.
“The town really needs it and is going to suffer without it. There’s lots of people who will have nowhere else to go. We have had a lot of support for the last few months from people from Bendigo and Tasmania working at the gold mine, and we will lose those to Tumut.”
As well as the lease running out, Mr and Mrs O’Donovan want to spend more time with their children, especially helping advance Tate’s budding golfing career.
“We want to put more time into our kids,” Mr O’Donovan said.
“If we didn’t have the kids we would have bought the place.”
Mr O’Donovan will continue his career as a saw doctor at the Tumut hardwood mill, while Mrs O’Donovan will work at Valmar Support Services.
This is not the first time the Royal has closed. A truck crashed through the front of it in 2005, and it received a facelift and was reopened in 2008.
The pub’s last day, Wednesday, was a memorable one with two truck accidents occurring outside. One saw a small cattle truck lose its brakes and roll over on its side in the afternoon, and later in the evening another truck suffered a tyre blowout on a road island.