Townsville Bulletin

LAST DRINKS AS LOCKDOWNS BITE

- NATHAN MAWBY

THE devastated publicans behind what is believed to be the only Victorian hotel where you can arrive by jet ski are selling the watering hole and the farm stay they added to it.

Gary Paxton and Bridget Bowe bought the Granya Hotel last year, intent on reviving the pub that traded on the shores of Lake Hume from 1928 to the 1970s before becoming a drug rehab centre.

But with successive lockdowns the pair have had the doors at 3100 Murray River Rd, Granya, open for less than five months, even as venues on the NSW side of the water were able to continue trading.

“I’m about 50m from the water and I’m looking at NSW over the beer garden,” Mr Paxton said.

“Had we been open all the time, I have no doubt the trade at the place would have been skyrocketi­ng.”

In one afternoon over summer they had 35 patrons arrive via jet ski or water ski, something he doesn’t believe can be done at any other hotel in Victoria.

The Granya was Mr Paxton’s 15th licensed venue, and the pair have already spent more than $200,000 renovating and renewing the 2.02ha property.

“With what I have been putting up with in the last 18 months, I’m just about done with pubs,” Mr Paxton said.

But it will be farewellin­g the three alpacas, three lambs, two mini horses and a couple of mini Herefords they’ve raised for the property that hurts the most.

“We’d just grab the buggy and some hay and let kids feed all the animals,” he said.

“And losing that’s going to be the killer.”

Restrictio­ns on accommodat­ion and trading limits on the pub have left them with no choice but to sell the 93-year-old hotel, expected to sell at around $1.2m.

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 ?? ?? Gary Paxton and his partner Bridget Bowe with one of the animals they have raised. Picture: Simon Dallinger
Gary Paxton and his partner Bridget Bowe with one of the animals they have raised. Picture: Simon Dallinger

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