Adelong’s Royal Hotel has reopened its doors after a three month closure, with 32-year-old local boy Luke Hindmarsh taking on the role of publican.
The future of the Royal appeared to be in doubt late last year, with the grand old building staying closed and no clear answers as to a buyer.
In fact, that’s exactly what prompted Luke to step in and try out the pub business for the first time in his life.
“I was working away for a while, and I came back into town and I was sick of seeing this place closed – so I thought I’d open it back up,” he said.
“It was always going to be a viable business for someone, it was just a matter of that someone sticking their nose out there and having a go. At this point that’s me! Seemed like a good idea, so we’ll see.”
For Luke the Royal is an Adelong institution, and when someone needed to put their hand up and take over ownership he decided he was as good as any.
“You’d walk down town and you couldn’t get a feed, and I thought, someone needs to open that place back up so I can get some food again!
“Driving past everyday and seeing a nice old building like this closed down was a bit sad – it’s always been a pretty popular pub for travellers and workers, and it’s good for families as well.”
Luke moved away for a couple of years working in construction and mining, but returned to the town he grew up in before too long. Now that he’s committed to the Royal, he said he’s most likely sticking around for good.
“I won’t get too far from these four walls in the next few years I imagine!” he said.
It’s his first crack at something like owning and managing a pub, but he isn’t letting that hold him back.
“I’m new to the whole industry, and I’ve got a lot to learn,” he said.
“I reckon I’ve learned more in the last week than I have in the last three years, but it’s been good so far.
“We’ve had a really positive reaction, can’t complain there. We’ve had a lot of locals in and a lot of travellers as well, out-of-towners take away good reports.”
The Royal Hotel will be opened for meals on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, with the potential to expand into weeknights depending on demand. However, it will be closed over the Easter weekend.