Facelift for a local favourite being given a new lease on life

Empire Hotel owner Cindy Bryan is very happy with the results of the recent facelift to the hotel’s dining area.

The Empire Hotel dining room is now a whole lot lighter and brighter thanks to a recent facelift.

Hotel owner Cindy Bryan said since the work was completed last Thursday they’ve had lots of favourable comments from their regular patrons.

“Everyone is saying how great it all looks and lots of people have called in to see what we’ve done,” Cindy told The Cobar Weekly.

She said they were pleased to have been able to use a local builder and local upholsterer to complete the work.

Keeping in with a rustic theme, the Bryans have re-panelled the walls, installed new lighting and fitted new booths.

“It’s looks fresher and I think the kids are going to love sitting up in the booths.”

Cindy and husband, Andrew (or Shorty as he is well known), bought the hotel from Travern and Val Wray in July 2016.

Cindy was a former employee of the Wrays before they took over the lease of the hotel and then bought it two years ago, carrying out a number of improvements since.

“We’ve put in a new coolroom and done up the front bar.

“We put in the wood panelling, a new roof, new tables and painted out the front of the bottleshop.”

The pair have also upgraded the back beer garden.

“When we bought it off Travern and Val, the ball was in our court and we decided to make improvements,”

The couple has more plans for improvements and their next project will be to upgrade the back function room.

Cindy said rather than continuing the rustic theme through to the function area, she wants it to have a more neutral theme so that it will work in better for weddings, parties and various other functions.

The Empire is also starting to build its reputation as a local live music venue, with musician Sarah Leete to play there tomorrow night as part of her second Central Australian Tour.

Born and raised on the NSW Central Coast, Sarah has been writing songs and playing guitar since 13.

Sarah followed her heart to be a country girl and moved to work on a farm near Narrabri and now writes drawing from her life experiences.

She’s been described as a fresh face on the Australian Country Music scene.

Last September, her debut single ‘Safe’ was released from her forthcoming self titled album and on this tour she has a commercial release and a whole swag of stories and experiences to share with her audiences.

“This time around I really want to showcase how I have grown as a performer and also to bring my new EP out to that part of the country,” Sarah said.