PULLING beers is a world away from selling real estate in Perth, but Currabubula Hotel licensee Cath Branson and her electrician husband Rob have taken a liking to it.
Their refurbished building and business was up and running on Friday, but Tamworth stock and station agent Daniel McCulloch got in early with a beer on Wednesday.
The couple have never been in the pub game before, but it hasn’t stopped them from transforming a tired village pub into a sought-after place to wine and dine.
The pet-friendly, family-friendly hotel’s change of hands has locals excited, with residents calling in to have a sticky beak throughout the refurbishment.
“It’s a little bit different but we’re still dealing with people,” Mrs Branson said.
The Bransons’ daughter Amanda Hollis, who worked in administration at Landmark but will now help run the family business, told them about the opportunity last year.
“Amanda missed me and she rang us last October to tell us it was for sale,” Mrs Branson said.
After buying the hotel in May, improvement work began in June, and while there’s still a way to go, including the development of a children’s playground, the pub is open for business.
“We completely gutted the place, recarpeted, repainted and generally refurbished,” Mrs Branson said. “There was an old-fashioned beer system, but now we’re using a glycol system, and we have a brand new kitchen.”
The pub’s bar has been named after bushranger Thunderbolt, who robbed the pub twice.
“One time he stayed the whole day so he must have drank there and socialised with the publican, then robbed it and left,” Mrs Branson said.
Part of the hotel has been converted into a cafe, serving meals day and night. “We’ve also got drive-through coffee so people driving through can grab a coffee and keep moving,” Mrs Branson said. “That road is so busy. There’s a a stack of people who commute toTamworth for work.”
One of the main hassles was buying the pub.
“Daniel McCulloch sold the pub to us and he really helped us out because the rules over here are really different to Western Australia as far as property sales go,” Mrs Branson said.
The first major function will be the Currabubula Public School’s P&C prawn and chicken night fundraiser on November 9, with tickets to be purchased at the pub. “We’ll be having regular functions and events, as well as bands,” Mrs Branson said.