Apsley syndicate marks five years
Five years ago Apsley’s Border Inn sat quiet and closed, just as it had for nearly three years.
The town had slowly watched as its businesses closed down one by one – the general store, the service station, and finally, in 2011, the pub.
With a population of about 300 people, the west Wimmera centre was in danger of turning into a ghost town.
The town’s residents knew they had to act, and a group of district farmers bought the Border Inn despite having no prior experience owning or operating a pub.
Five years later, the town group’s success.
The Border Inn is still owned by the same syndicate of farmers, but has hired new manager Amanda Williams and a new chef to coincide with the fifth anniversary of its reopening.
Ms Williams said it was important for people to continue to support the pub in order for it to thrive.
“There’s not really much in Apsley other than a post office and a pub,” she said.
“We think it has been pretty successful since it reopened.
“For most new businesses, five years is pretty good.
“The fact that a bunch of locals took on the local pub just to keep it open is not something you hear of every day.
“We want to try to promote the Border Inn not is celebrating the just to locals, but to people in the area. As far as we’re concerned, we’ve got a 50 to 60-kilometre radius of people we consider ‘local’.”
Ms Williams said owners hoped the addition of a new chef and an overhauled menu would be a drawcard.
“We have a really good chef. The meals are restaurant quality meals, but at pub meal prices,” she said.
“We have some amazing specials and everything we use is as local as we can get.
“We have an amazing local wine list and I have been talking to Norton Estate to stock some of their wines as well.”
Ms Williams said patrons could also enjoy high-quality entertainment.
“We’ve lots of events here all the time,” she said.
“We had Bill Chambers, the father of Kasey Chambers, playing here the other night.
“We will have a big Australia Day event, a Valentine’s Day event and then in March we have a big yabby competition with huge prizes.
“There is music all through the year and we have free camping out the back, so we’re trying to boost tourism around the place.”
Ms Williams said the pub would continue to thrive if people thought of it as a destination.
“We want people to stop when they’re driving through on the road to Adelaide and everywhere else,” she said.
“We want them to think of the Border Inn and come here.”