Locals, many with smiles as big as the Stetsons they were wearing, bellied up to the bar on Saturday for the re-opening of the Yandaran Hotel.
It had been 541 days since the last beer was pulled at the “Yannie” and a bumper crowd was on hand at the country pub to see the taps twisted and the amber liquid flow once again.
Publican Abbie Grayson and her partner Collin Ahern have resurrected trade at the hotel which closed on June 27, 2019.
The crammed parking spaces at the front of the hotel and the dozens of motorbikes provided an inkling as to the success of the re-opening.
Every available shady tree within 50 metres of the “Yannie” as well as open land at the rear of the pub was also crammed with cars and bikes depicting the informal “park it where you can” arrangements that are synonymous with country pubs.
Abbie and a staff member were “flat chat” catering to the needs of patrons who spilled from the bar into the outside beer garden and smokers’ areas.
Abbie, who also operates Biggenden’s Commercial Hotel in partnership with Collin, said it was gratifying to see the support for the hotel and to hear the congratulations expressed by appreciative customers.
“We’ve had a few technical challenges with our EFTPOS and ATM but the customers have been great,” Abbie said.
“The important thing is that locals and visitors can pull in and enjoy a cold beer.”
And pull in they did.
A jumping castle at the rear of the hotel hosted numerous excited youngsters under the watchful eye of parents sitting at shaded slab tables sipping drinks.
Yandaran Hotel reopens for appreciative residents
“Clarkie”, a local who lives “a tinnie’s throw” (empty of course!) from the pub, said he was delighted to see the hotel back in operation.
“You really miss the opportunity to duck into your local for a beer and a chat or even a few takeaways.
“A lot of people in this area are extremely happy that the pub’s back in business,” he said.
“There’s not a lot on offer in rural areas and to have a place to socialise is extremely important.”
Abbie said the reopening of the Yandaran Hotel had also allowed for the opportunity to forge closer business ties with the local general store located across the road and the only other major business in Yandaran.
“We are hopeful that the hotel will prove to be an essential social and recreational venue for locals and those people visiting Miara or simply looking for a country pub experience.”
“Clarkie” had perhaps the most pertinent comment about the value of the re-opening. “Mate, you can’t beat a cold beer on a hot day!”