Victorian era returns for old Rocky hotel
ONE OF Rockhampton's biggest icons is in for a massive makeover to bring it back to its former glory.
That's the dream of a group of Victorian businessmen who took over the reins of the historical Heritage Tavern on Monday.
Co-owner Matt Mullins said yesterday that the pub would remain closed until February while the group renovated the entire building to give it a more historical appearance.
"Our plan is to restore it from top to bottom.
"We'll make sure it looks like a proper period Queensland pub,'' he said.
"We absolutely fell in love with this building.
"It's one of the best in Australia in terms of its style but obviously it's had a bit of a hard run over the past 20 or so years.''
Mr Mullins described his company, Sand Hill Road, as "a group of four mates who buy pubs and renovate them''.
He said the company often sold pubs fairly soon after completing renovations but believed the Heritage was a "keeper''.
"This is so much more than we ever hoped for but it's all we've ever dreamed of.''
Mr Mullins was keeping tight-lipped about the price he paid for the pub other than to say he was happy with the deal.
"We think we've got the buy of the century.''
And he said he loved Rockhampton so much he was even considering buying a house.
"I'm a country boy at heart and (realtor) Pat O'Driscoll has done a great job selling this city to us.''
But he assured patrons they would not be forced to drink Victorian beer.
"Whenever I've visited Queensland I've always drunk XXXX. "I think it's the best beer for this climate.