PUBLICANS FORCED TO CLOSE AS PROFITS PLUMMET
JUST two weeks after coronavirus restrictions came into place for licensed venues, this popular Burnett pub has had to close its doors.
The Star Hotel Eidsvold has been an institution in the North Burnett for decades, but will be shut for the foreseeable future.
After being licensed for the first time in 1896 the pub has only closed twice before due to fire and flood.
As the pandemic crisis continues, publicans Kinta and Rick Gitsham said it was not viable to continue operating in the country town while restrictions were in place.
“We’ve made a decision to save our business, in order to conserve everything for when we can open after this is over,” Mrs Gitsham said.
Pubs across the nation have been restricted to selling takeaway food and alcohol.
The Star’s main source of income however was from alcohol sales over the bar, and the pokies.
Prior to the pandemic, the Star hosted Australian country music sensation Catherine Britt, and had been gearing up for the Eidsvold Campdraft.
Now the future of the Star’s eight staff is up in the air and only one of them is eligible for the workers’ stimulus wage.
Bartender Lani Reid is one of the employees now uncertain about her future, after starting at the pub in January.
“I was only planning on staying here for a little bit but I thought the place was perfect, and they offered me work until August,” she said.
“Now what am I meant to do?”
The Gitshams have been operating the pub since August 2018, and even with the current crisis, they’re optimistic they’ll come out on the other side.
“We just have to conserve what we have at the moment, because my gut feeling is that it will be months until we can trade normally again,” Mrs Gitsham said.
WE'LL BE BACK: Bartender Lani Reid and Star Hotel publican Kinta Gitsham.