Re­cap­tur­ing the magic of his­tory

Central and North Burnett Times - - FLAVOURS ADVERTISING FEATURE -

MOUNT Perry Fed­eral Inn owner and op­er­a­tor Bob Gil­bert has re­turned to the ho­tel he re­built with his bare hands af­ter more than a decade away.

“I first bought the build­ing in 2003 and be­gan ren­o­vat­ing it,” Mr Gil­bert said.

The build­ing was an old movie theatre which had been closed down in the 1950s.

“The build­ing had been con­demned at the time. I did the ren­o­va­tions my­self be­cause I am a builder by trade.”

The full ren­o­va­tions took Mr Gil­bert more than a year to com­plete.

He de­cided to lease the build­ing out af­ter a hand­ful of years run­ning it.

“My wife and I ran it our­selves for 13 months be­fore she passed away sud­denly,” Mr Gil­bert said.

“I kept it for three years be­fore I leased it out.”

Mr Gil­bert re­mained in Mount Perry.

“I stayed in town and kept Mount Perry as my base and de­cided to take the place back over in July this year,” Mr Gil­bert said.

Upon re­turn­ing to the Fed­eral, Mr Gil­bert set out to re­vamp the place he built.

“You def­i­nitely feel the theatre theme again,” Mr Gil­bert said.

“Es­pe­cially with all the bill­boards and posters up, when I took back over I set the place back up how it used to be, with old movie posters and mem­o­ra­bilia around the place.”

Mr Gil­bert em­braced the unique na­ture of an old theatre as a restau­rant and bar.

“It is a great lit­tle spot in Mount Perry and the Fed­eral Inn of­fers a unique ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“I have hired a new chef, Kerry Smith, she is ex­cel­lent.

“We will be do­ing a mix­ture of tapas and a la carte food, the tapas is def­i­nitely a new ad­di­tion to the menu.”

The restau­rant will be open for lunch every Thurs­day to Sun­day from 11am un­til 2pm and from 6pm Mon­day to Satur­day for din­ner. Bar opens at 4pm. “Ev­ery­one is al­ways im­pressed with how the place is done up and the at­mos­phere it has,” Mr Gil­bert said.

“They en­joy be­ing able to sit in­side or out­side with the view of the moun­tains and the bush set­ting.”

With the warmer sea­sons ahead Mr Gil­bert looks for­ward to see­ing visi­tors to Mount Perry.

“As spring comes on we tend to get a nice flow of tourists, like mo­tor­cy­clists on long rides or day trip­pers from Bund­aberg and Her­vey Bay,” Mr Gil­bert said.

“Mount Perry is a great lit­tle spot out here in the ranges and has a lot of unique things to of­fer.”

This was some­thing that in­spired Mr Gil­bert to start the Fed­eral Inn in the first place.

“It would have been just as easy to knock the whole thing down and build it from scratch,” Mr Gil­bert said.

“But this is a spe­cial part of our his­tory here and I wanted to pre­serve that.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

HIS­TORY RE­PEAT­ING: The Fed­eral Inn is back in its orig­i­nal owner’s hands.

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