The popular Star Hotel has closed in undisclosed circumstance after its purchase by the burgeoning Taphouse Hotel Group.
The Star Hotel resides on a prominent corner at the entry to the town of Wauchope, just west of Port Macquarie.
The town has around 6,000 residents and three pubs, and the Star was reportedly known for its community feel and atmosphere, its live music and events and for good food.
For the past quarter century it has been in the hands of local family Jim and Helen Ylias and their sons. Jim passed away and the decision was made to sell the hotel.
“Our family sold the hotel and business on February 1, 2016 and we would like to thank all our patrons and suppliers that have supported the business over the past 25 years,” said a statement by the family.
Taphouse Hotel Group (THG) last year purchased three freehold going concern pubs from Redcape Hotel Group, taking advantage of that group’s exit from the mid north coast to bolster its portfolio synergies.
The Star Hotel would be THG’s sixth venue in the region, but some mystery surrounds its closure, which the vendors say “was a decision taken by the new owners”.
PubTIC spoke to THG’s David Mattick, who would not comment on the future of the Star.
Despite the Group’s record of adding value to acquisitions there appears to be much local consternation regarding the hotel’s continued existence. Former manager John Monaghan told the Wauchope Gazette it is a major community concern and throws into doubt many attractions, including live acts booked six months in advance.
“No accommodation, no more sponsorship opportunities, no poker nights or meat raffles will have an impact on the community,” said Monaghan.
There are concerns the pub will be redeveloped, but more likely is that THG is simply playing its cards close and the popular local will re-emerge as an updated version of its beloved former self.