ONE of Tamworth's most iconic pubs has had to close its doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Pub Group's Family Hotel was closed for the first time in 150 years on Monday after the federal government announced the closure of all pubs and clubs.
The venue is the only one of the Pub Group's four locations that doesn't extend itself to takeaway options, thus forcing its closure.
The Pub Group's Craig Power told the Leader most of the Family Hotel's staff had been stood down.
"It is bad news, there's no other way to put it," Mr Power said.
"We've had to put off 70 to 80 per cent of our staff due to the pandemic.
"Unfortunately, the business trading limitations of takeaway cannot support the current staff levels it takes to serve the large community hubs that our hotels have become.
"That's what led to this decision and it was certainly not one we took lightly."
Mr Power said he had a "strong connection" to the Family Hotel and was heartbroken by the circumstances.
"It is certainly close to my heart because it was the first hotel I became a licensee of 19 years ago," he said.
"Not only that, it has a really loyal community of patrons who have supported it for a long time.
"As well as a dedicated staff of employees who make it a very special place.
"We will be working through this day by day and trying our best to get through it the best we can."
Despite the Family Hotel's closure, the Pub Group's other venues the Southgate Inn, the Pub and the Longyard Hotel will all be offering takeaway food and drink options.
"By doing takeaway food, alcohol and other drinks we can at least ensure we are doing some business," Mr Power said.
"At the end of the day, it isn't just us who are struggling, it is the entire local business sector.
"I think it is really important for people to stick together and support local businesses wherever they can.
"All of our pubs will be posting their menus on social media so people can order takeaway through the bottleshop and it would be great to see everyone get behind us and support local."
Mr Power said he wanted to assure locals this would not be the end of the Family Hotel.
"This will absolutely not be the end," he said.
"We will be doing everything we can to ensure we are stronger than ever when we come out the other side of this."