ALLAN "Stumpy” Bradshaw says the reopening of the Fitzroy Hotel is the "best thing since sliced bread”.
The Rockhampton man was front and centre at the hotel's bar yesterday, as staff members Tiona McGuigan and Bernard Gribble celebrated the revamp and refurbishment of the local icon.
Bernard, the hotel's director and manager, said the pub had been "run down” for a good five years.
The establishment notoriously trades through natural disasters, and Bernard himself was serving patrons back in the 2011 floods.
"The locals have been asking us to get it open so we are doing it as fast as we can,” Bernard said.
"We have decided to do it up the best we can.
"There will be extras for the locals like fast food, meals, which hasn't been here for 15 years. There's entertainment on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
"The pub is an icon around here. And you can see locals in there now.”
Tiona, who takes care of the hotel's licensing, said Friday was the hotel's first day back in business.
She said about 50 people had attended to celebrate the momentous occasion.
"It was amazing,” she said.
"The (10) rooms were full upstairs.
"It is a proper pub. There is no gaming here. So it is an old school pub. We want to keep it real.”
But an old favourite is changing it up a bit, and Tiona and Bernard are hoping to appeal to a wider market.
"There are big ideas, but it is baby steps,” Bernard said.
"This is one of the oldest pubs in town, it used to be single storey. It has been through three floods now.
"It has always been a workers pub. But we want to get it more so the young ones can come in here on the way to the nightclubs.”
But, Tiona adds, they still want to keep it family oriented.
"There has been no food here before and we are focusing on that. You can ring up your lunch orders and come pick it up.”
The hotel is also now available to host functions, but Stumpy was already pretty sold on the beer.
"Well you can't get much better,” he said.
"You can put money on me being a regular.”