THE spirit of festive season is alive and kicking in Jugiong, where the small town’s oldest pub, The Sir George Hotel, is back in business.
The pub re-opened recently after a two-year hiatus, following extensive renovations. The establishment now sports a restaurant, boutique bar and artisan bakery.
Since opening its doors the pub’s bar has been chocked with chin-wagging locals and its tables are laden with Christmas parties for groups from nearby towns.
The renovations were carried out by the historic pub’s new owners, Perth mother-daughter duo Kate Hufton and Liz Pratter.
Kate, who was drawn to the Jugiong area by her husband, Charlie Hufton, led the charge to revamp the pub.
Mum, Liz, completed styling and design for the business while Liz’s partner, Kim Gamble, crafted the list and menu.
Since opening head chef Nick Williams has had the pub’s Spanish Mibrasa charcoal oven, just one of 10 in Australia, running hot.
He’s been turning out classic, modern Australian food for a la carte diners and a set menu for groups over 10.
The new owners have plans in place for an artisan bakery which will be housed in an adjoining historic building called Ben Hall Cottage.
Accommodation will be their next offering, with construction pegged to start in late 2017.
The Sir George is the latest business to draw out-of-towners to Jugiong.
Its development follows The Long Track Pantry which has become an essential pit-stop for travellers en route from Sydney to Melbourne.
Luckily for weary travellers, they can find the historic pub right next door.
The Sir George Tavern as it was known, was originally built by Irish settler John Philip Sheahan in 1845.
Rising floodwaters from the mighty Murrumbidgee washed the original structure away in the floods of 1852.
That year, Sheahan began rebuilding the pub with the help of stonemasons from Ireland and the end result was the structure that still stands today.
The Sheahan family owned The Sir George right up until its new owners bought it late last year.