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NEW BIZ: If these walls could talk
The owner of Reggies Tattersall’s Hotel in Baradine has not only carried out a makeover but is adding new ideas to attract people to the business and town. Coonabarabran Times correspondent, Liz Cutts, caught up with Suzanne Fuller to find out more about her new venture...
After being closed for going on three years, Baradine residents had pretty much written the ‘middle pub’ off as being another country hotel that would remain shut. But, just a few months ago, the 100-year-old local heritage-listed building reopened after improvements and a name change.
New owner, Suzanne Fuller said that when she bought the pub, she realised she would need to do more than pour beer to make her new venture profitable.
“We are offering something a bit different to the traditional country pubs,” Ms Fuller said.
“Our focus is on providing a relaxed, family-orientated ambience. There are no gambling machines or TAB - we are making food core to the business.
“We serve coffee and cake, breakfast and restaurant meals. If you want you can come in and just sit by the cosy nook log fire, read a book or sit with a wine; pub culture has really shifted and we are moving with it.”
With plans to establish a purpose-built in-pub coffee shop and deliver some old-world charm by calling it the ‘Tea Rooms’, Ms Fuller wants to give customers a different experience and a reason to come into the hotel other than drinking alcohol.
“I want to complement the other businesses already doing well in town,” Ms Fuller added.
“We are trying to offer different options and add a bit of variety. The feedback we have had has been very positive. Our little town needs shops open.
“My big thing is to use local produce in the hotel all the time and support local businesses and producers. There is a great cellar under the building that lends itself to a collection of good wines; I think that is something to consider for the future.”
A former Newcastle resident, Ms Fuller said she had been looking for a business challenge to take on for a while and the imposing hotel in the middle of the main street caught her eye when she visited the town last year.
“The hotel had everything on my tick list; I fell in love with the building,” Ms Fuller said.
“I thought it was sad that it was closed, it needed to be full of people and it needed to be open for the town.
“We have an assortment of 11 rooms to accommodate different bookings. There are no ensuite rooms; we offer strictly old country pub style accommodation, but we are slowly redecorating.
“We have added ‘Reggies’ to the name because there are a lot of Tattersall Hotels around, so it’s nice to have one a bit different and I think it gives the name a bit of a lift-and Reggie is my nickname from my bike riding group.
“The hotel is 100 years old this year and I am hoping, COVID regulations depending, that planned celebrations will be able go ahead during the October long weekend. We will have music every day and are already fully booked for the event.
“Running a pub is a full-time job, but I knew that when I took it on and I could not have done it without the help ofmyson.Itwasabit ofarushtogetitopen and we were just about to employ staff when COVID hit, but we are on track and well and truly open for business.
“We have had strong local support; Baradine is a great little town. We are very appreciative of how much everyone likes having their middle pub back.
“We are loving living here and looking forward to the new opportunities heading the town’s way.”
The Warrumbungle Shire Community Based Heritage Study 2018 states that the Tattersalls Hotel in Baradine has been trading on site since 1921 and stands as a marker of the major period of development in the town during the Interwar period in anticipation of the railway in 1923 and the continued growth of the timber industry in the district.
In 1905 John Leitheid became the proprietor of the original building in the middle of Wellington Street. In 1910 it was taken over by Thomas Harford, who planned for the construction of a new hotel which opened in 1921. In 1923 Alex MacDonald, formerly of the Commercial Hotel, Coolah, took over the business and later that year, following the official opening of the railway to Baradine in October, a public banquet was held at the renamed MacDonald’s Hotel.
In 1926 Mr MacDonald added a billiards room, a hairdresser’s shop and additional offices. However, in 1934, a disastrous fire burnt the hotel garage to the ground and severely damaged the adjoining billiards room and hairdressing shop and destroyed a nearby general store.
H. C. Waters held the licence to the hotel in 1941 and throughout the late 1950’s and 1960’s it was owned by the Hickey family.
The newly-built Tattersall’s Hotel in 1921, when it was called Harford’s Hotel.