Dispute with Great Western Hotel licence excludes minors

The Great Western Hotel management are currently trying to sort out licensing issues which date back 70 years and currently prevent entry to minors.

The Great Western Hotel, which has for many years operated as a family hotel, is currently excluding minors due to a dispute with their licence.

The pub’s licensee Rachel Warren was put on notice last Wednesday following an audit inspection by police where it was discovered the hotel’s licence, which dates back to 1953, does not permit minors to enter.

“The issue is currently with the Office of Liquor and Gaming for clarification and we will be guided by them,” Rachel said.

She said they had no option but to close the pub last week following a police inspection or they would have faced hefty fines of $1,100 per minor if they were on site.

“We are a family business and enjoy the fact that families come to our hotel every day and enjoy themselves.

“It’s quite distressing to have to put a hold on that,” Rachel said.

The pub re-opened on Thursday however until the matter has been sorted, minors are still not permitted on the premises.

Before Rachel and partner Dave Portelli took over the hotel from Ashleigh and Monica Bellotti in 2016, the Bellottis had run it as a family hotel for eight years.

Long running licensee Jim Hagan and his wife Doreen (who had the pub for 30 years) also ran it as a family hotel.

Their daughter, Debbie Hagan, told The Cobar Weekly she was brought up there.

“My kids were brought up there.

“I don’t understand how this has happened,” Debbie said.

Rachel and Dave were hoping to have heard from the Office of Liquor and Gaming by yesterday, however they had not had any news at the time of this article going to print.

“It is really disappointing that a sledgehammer approach has been taken to an issue that could have been handled differently,” Dave said.

“We make every effort to abide by the laws of the land and run a responsible business.”