Cel­e­brat­ing 60 years - P9

Kooroora’s his­tory rich with life, mem­o­ries and mate­ship af­ter 60 years of op­er­a­tion

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE -

AN iconic Mt Buller busi­ness cel­e­brated 60 years of op­er­a­tion this year.

A place of happy gath­er­ings, Kooroora on Mt Buller has lived up to its name for the past 60 years.

But it hasn’t al­ways been smooth sail­ing for the es­tab­lish­ment.

O ffi c i a l l y o p e n i n g in 1953, the Kooroora Ho­tel opened its doors with 35 com­mer­cial and nine staff beds and re­placed the first ‘eat­ing house’ on the moun­tain, the Bull Run Can­teen, es­tab­lished by the For­ras brothers Ernest and Aurel.

The For­ras brothers be­came known as the ‘hos­pi­tal­ity pioneers’ of the moun­tain.

How­ever, in 1961 the orig­i­nal Kooroora Ho­tel burnt down.

R e bu i l t t h e f o l l ow i n g year, Kooroora re­mains the same build­ing to­day with the main part of it largely un­changed.

Af­ter chang­ing hands from one For­ras brother to the other, al­ter­nat­ing over some years, Ernest sold the ho­tel to Arthur Tan who in turn sold it to the Arl­berg’s then owner, Adam Adams.

A con­sor­tium led by John Perks pur­chased it from Adams, and Richard Paine bought it in 1994.

In 1996 Paine dra­mat­i­cally changed the in­ter­nal lay­out of the ho­tel, re­mov­ing the age­ing car­pets, pol­ish­ing the floor­boards and putting in a func­tional bar.

It was about this same time that Richard Paine and An­ton Van­hoff (joint own­ers) rein­tro­duced live mu­sic to the venue and re­gained its rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing a so­cial fo­cal point.

Paine and Van­hoff sold the build­ing to the Grollo Group in 2001 but leased back the ho­tel op­er­a­tions side.

The Kooroora (in­cor­po­rat­ing the Hoohah Kitchen) is renowned for its hos­pi­tal­ity.

The af­ter dark bar is the fa­vorite gath­er­ing place for many of the younger gen­er­a­tion mem­bers on the moun­tain.

It is also the place to go for those look­ing for an early break­fast or a hot and cosy lunch.

Live mu­sic, cold beers and hot foods are all the go at Kooroora.

To­day the Hoohah Kitchen is op­er­ated by busi­ness part­ners, Su­san Raidel and Rudi Renz, both long time and well known iden­ti­ties on the moun­tain.

This is Su­san and Rudi’s fourth year at the Hoohah, how­ever, Su­san first came to Buller to work in 1974 and Rudi in 1976 - mak­ing them friends for more than 40 years.

The Hoohah serves an eclec­tic menu with pasta, hot win­ter soups, braised beef cheeks, chicken sou­vlakis - just to name a few.

“A bit of ev­ery­thing, but we have in­cor­po­rated a steak night for Thurs­days, and we have also moved into Thai foods with de­li­cious sal­ads,” Su­san said.

Su­san and Rudi - work­ing in part­ner­ship over win­ter for the past four snow sea­sons, also have a his­tory in cater­ing around the dis­trict for many more years.

Rudi has at times leased such venues as the Hunt Club, Jamieson Pub and now owns and op­er­ates (through sum­mer) the Old Fire Sta­tion Restau­rant in Mans­field.

Su­san in the past has op­er­ated the Pro­duce Store (for five years), was the orig­i­nal owner of Tarts Cafe in Mans­field and last sum­mer worked at Cafe 41.

The Hoohah Kitchen opens at 8am and closes at 9.30pm with the ho­tel and bars con­tin­u­ing on un­til the tra­di­tional ‘That’s Amore’ is played around 3am.

IN THE HOOHAH: Su­san Raidel and Rudi Renz have op­er­ated the Hoohah Kitchen at Kooroora Ho­tel for the past four years en­joy­ing more than 40 years’ friend­ship on the moun­tain.

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