WHEN Luke Prout started working at the Tamworth Hotel in his late teens, he never thought he’d come back to buy the joint 17-years later.
The local man and his business partner Dan Whitten officially took over the reins of the iconic hotel from the Rumble family on Wednesday after decades at the helm of the pub.
Having worked in pubs for more than a decade, Mr Prout says he’s proud to come back to home turf and believes big things are in store for the Tamworth Hotel in the future.
“We had some real great success with the Robin Hood Hotel (owned by Mr Whitten) for the last two-and-a-half years in particular and we thought it was time we had a look around for another one that we could both be involved in,” Mr Prout told The Leader.
“I was on the phone to my mum one day and she said did you know The Tamworth is for sale? I nearly fell off my chair.
“I emailed Dan and sent him all the web links to the sale and four days later we came up and had a look at it and it took from there. It took another five weeks of heavy negotiating and we ended up getting there.”
Mr Prout and Mr Whitten already have plans for the future of the business, and say it will be a fun, family orientated pub with a great atmosphere.
Already, the duo is planning to renovate and extend the hotel’s beer garden, which Mr Prout said would pave the way for great entertainment and Sunday trading.
There are also plans to extend the trading hours of the bottle shop.
“The general consensus is it’s Sydney people buying the pub, a part of that is true but I did all my high schooling here, my family are all still here, so it was fate really that it popped up and we were able to get it.
“The pub has always had a special place in my heart. It’s very rare that you can say you bought the first pub you’d ever worked in.
“Because you don’t really want to want mess with a persons front bar, because a lot of people feel comfortable and feel like it’s still their local, the first move is the beer garden, it’s such a massive and amazing space.
“We’ve got plans, we’ve met with a number of architects and builders already to really do a big job out here and bring it to life.”
Mr Prout said among those plans is bringing in a smoker where American style barbecues will be on the menu, And as for the kitchen, Mr Prout said the old favourites on the Tamworth Hotel menu would stay, but he looked forward to bringing new flavours to the pub
There will be live entertainment with the possibility of international acts along with an area for the kids.
“We’re going to be very family focused,” he said.