2 February 2024

Historic Captains Flat Hotel fails to sell at auction so owners decide to be 'the bank'

| Sally Hopman
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Front view of old pub

Closed – for now. The 1937 Captains Flat Hotel, newly restored, is back on the market – but this time through its owners. Photo: Tracey Durr.

Tracey and Greg Durr put “a lot of bloody hard work” into bringing the Captains Flat Hotel back to life, so when it failed to sell at auction last month, they took things into their own hands – literally.

They spent a year working on the 1937 pub, once famous for having the longest bar in the Southern Hemisphere – around 36 metres – bringing, as Tracey says, “the grand old lady back to life”.

“It was a lot of hard work,” she said. “It took us six months alone just to get rid of the rubbish inside.

“She’s looking very beautful now if I say so myself.”

The hotel had been closed since 2020 with the onset of the COVID pandemic.

Tracey said their plan when they purchased the pub in 2022 was always to restore it to her former glory and then sell it, not seeing themselves as long-term publicans.

READ ALSO Newly restored historic Captains Flat pub goes back on the market

“We have totally enjoyed being part of this community – it’s now time for us to start the next chapter of our lives,” she said.

The hotel was built at the height of the mining boom, when about 3500 miners lived around the village. The bar had to be big to accommodate the crowd of drinkers who stood around it, shoulder to shoulder.

But with the change of that era, village life changed, and the pub with it.

“Our main goal was to restore the beautiful grand old lady,” Tracey said. “Hopefully someone will continue to love and respect this wonderful old building.”

Tracey said when it was passed in at auction, only one offer was received – her family decided to sell it themselves – and “we are offering vendor finance – so we’ll be the bank for the right applicant”.

To see it bought and reopened as the local watering hole and centre of the village is their hope, but because it is zoned residential, it can be used in a variety of different ways, Tracey said, from a B&B to coffee shop, general store or an artist’s studio.

Woman and man playing accordian and mandolin.

Tracey Durr with her son Charlie making music at the Captains Flat pub. The pub is back on the market again, but this time, through the owners. Photo: Supplied.

“Of course, we would love to see someone continue to run it as a pub, however we need to be open to all options,” Tracey said. “I mean, think of it – who wouldn’t want the long bar as a man cave – it would be someone’s dream.”

The hotel sits on more than 2000 sqm and includes a large beer garden and other outdoor spaces for further recreational and entertainment options. Inside, apart from the long bar, the pub boasts sitting rooms and a dining area along with 21 guest rooms and three-bedroom accommodation for a manager.

The hotel is up for private sale, with the price range estimated to be between $950,000 and $1.1 million. Tracey can be contacted through the Hotel’s website.

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