A team of passionate volunteers is working to put the remote St James Hotel back on the tourist map.By Monique Freer
Hotel St James is just like many other small country pubs – the watering hole for locals, the centre of the town and a place for a good meal.
Sadly though, just like many other small country pubs, Hotel St James is struggling to stay afloat.
Owner Jeanette Trebilcock bought the pub about nine years ago and put her heart and soul into developing the building.
However, about six months ago, Ms Trebilcock was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour and shortly after the hotel was put up for sale.
Hotel St James is off the market and a passionate team is working hard to restore the hotel to its former glory and put it back on the map as a destination for locals, visitors and travellers.
Volunteer Kay Anderson said it was important to have the hotel running for the good of the St James community.
‘‘We need to try and save the pub for the town more than anything,’’ Ms Anderson said.
‘‘I’d like to see more of the locals coming back and supporting the pub, and the entire district coming by.’’
Ms Trebilcock’s brother Brendan Thompson agreed the support of the community was essential to the continuing success of the hotel.
‘‘The locals are the ones who will keep the pub going, it’s as simple as that,’’ Mr Thompson said.
Hotel St James boasts a dining room and kitchen, from which they serve meals on Friday and Saturday nights. They also have a take away menu available, and are open to large bookings on other days of the week.
‘‘We’re happy to do meals five nights a week if we’re going to be filled those five nights a week,’’ Ms Anderson said.
The hotel also has a picturesque beer garden and outdoor terrace, as well as comfortable accommodation. The facilities allow Hotel St James to be the host of business conferences, weddings and functions.
Having already fought hard to retain the hotel, Mr Thompson has a long-term plan to rebuild the hotel’s popularity and Ms Trebilcock’s legacy.
‘‘I want the pub to be here for her,’’ Mr Thompson said. ‘‘She’ll know and I’ll know that we did everything we could to save it.’’
Hotel St James is open Wednesday to Sunday and available for bookings all week. Phone Kay on 5764
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