Four Geelong mates including one former Geelong AFL player have banded together to fill a local void by reinventing and launching The Inn.
Corey Enright, former Geelong Cats legend, has joined the owner of popular cafe The Backyard, Mat Dyer, construction manager Dean Trembath, and events manager Max McKay to create a place they as locals would like to go – which they say is sorely lacking in Geelong.
After purchasing the lease to the Bush Inn in August, they set to work creating a modern offering based in rustic traditional, with exposed brick and bare lighting. Several layers of history had to be stripped away to reveal the bones of the building.
It reopened as The Inn at the end of November, foodservice began last Thursday, and so far the news is all good.
“Everything has been running very smoothly,” venue manager Darcy Nolan reported to PubTIC.
“Everyone through has been quite happy, and we’ve had good reviews from the majority of Geelong.”
The pub built in 1856, the layout strives to create a free-flowing feel, de-emphasizing smaller areas within. The large beer garden features a custom-made ‘wraparound’ bench for group seating, beneath tranquil greenery and strings of lights.
The outdoor area enjoys its own access, and will be the centre of The Inn’s café offerings during the day.
Drinks will focus on craft beers and specialty cocktails, while to eat there will be plenty of share options and pizzas accompanying the traditional pub fare.
Entertainment is billed as ‘wide-ranging’ and will include live and acoustic local acts as well as DJs.
While the collaboration features input from each owner’s skillset, the end result seems to bring a Geelong synergy.
“The vibe has taken off well, people have really jumped on board,” says Nolan.
Enright played 332 games for Geelong between 2001 and 2016, and holds the outright games record for the team. Following his retirement, he told Geelong Advertiser the pub project was a bit of a dream come true.
“It’s something you always think about, being a bloke who likes a drink,” Corey says.