Food and Families the Key to the Future for Our Pubs; Owners Looking at New Paths to Success in Maryborough as Social Habits Change

Article excerpt

Byline: Roderick Makim

aSOMETIMES you've got to go where everybody knows your name.a

This used to be the catchcry for pubs everywhere, as the number one place friends met, talked and drank a but what does it take now for a pub to succeed?

Maryborough has always had a thriving pub scene.

All the way back to 1853, locals have had somewhere to gather for a drink and to share company.

Then throughout the 50s and 60s and the days of the asix o'clock swilla last century, the blokes who formed the lifeblood of the city's industrial heart would never fail to stop in for a drink (sometimes a few) on their way home from a hard day's work.

Recently though people's social habits have changed and the pub scene in the Heritage City has had to change with it.

aThere has been a real mentality shift,a says Gary Gilbert, general manager of the Carriers Arms Hotel.

Gary's pub is indicative of the measures our local watering holes are taking to stay relevant and viable in today's social climate.

Over about two years the Carriers Arms underwent a massive makeover.

It is now a multi-attraction venue.

aWe had to get away from the old style of pub where mostly it was just men who would come in, sit at the bar and drink beer,a Gary said.

From numerous TV screens for sports and a TAB, to a revamped eating area and a bar which offers dozens of options, Gary is confident he can now cater to anyone and everyone.

aWe even get little old ladies coming in for just a coffee,a he said a something you would never have seen in places like the Melbourne Hotel or the Civic in the halcyon days of Maryborough pubs.

Further afield, food has been shaping as a key drawcard for pubs looking to retain customers and attract new revenue streams.

Murphy's Hotel sees a roaring trade in the middle of the day, thanks to their $5 lunch specials.

The chicken or fish are popular options for those in the know but it's impossible for an old cattle station boy like myself to turn up a chance to tuck into a feed of crumbed steak and chips for $5.

Tattersall's Hotel on Richmond St also offers $5 fare a with a big roast meal and a dessert for hungry patrons to get their fill.

While the Claytons are selling up from their shares of the pub industry in Maryborough, they have poured a lot of time and money into revamping the Criterion and the Post Office Hotel a two establishments which have stood the test of time in Maryborough. …