A stalwart of NSW regional pubs is alive again, with the reopening of Hinton’s historic and indispensable Victoria Hotel last Friday.
Following the untimely death of former owner Michael Mullane in January, a pair of local mates banded together to realise their long-considered dream of owning Hinton’s local pub.
Thus Goldthor Hotels was born, purchasing the much-loved local watering hole and safe-haven, and installing veteran Tom Greene to oversee renovations and operations.
Greene told PubTIC the community was clearly relieved to get its institution back.
“Absolutely indescribable,” Greene described the weekend’s re-opening celebrations.
“We never dreamed it would turn out so well. The locals have been incredibly supportive.”
The pre-re-launch modifications have included a new bar, an extended beer garden, which will host live music, and refurbished dining area, which will now operate every day.
There is also a dedicated ‘feature’ wall, paying homage to the 1840 pub’s long history and connection with the district.
“When this area floods, Hinton is cut off from the surrounding towns,” explained Greene. “The pub has long served as a landing point for the SES to bring in supplies.
“I used to have a pub across at Morpeth, but it has been closed since the huge storm in April last year. The Victoria hasn’t closed during a flood for 140 years.”
Although the future of Morpeth’s River Royal Inn remains in doubt, Greene is excited to be the new licensee of the revived Victoria, and its future plans.
“The main focus was to get the place back open for the locals. You’ve got to crawl before you walk.
“But down the path a bit we’d like to do more with the upstairs, and an outdoor dining area. We want more facilities for families, which is a major part of being a community-based hotel.”
Hinton is located around 10 kilometres north of Newcastle, in the NSW Hunter region.