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Birregurra pub set to call last orders after 148-years

A hotel that has been serving drinks for 148 years for a small farming community in regional Victoria has called last orders.

The Royal Mail Hotel in Birregurra will shut this weekend, after the operators were unable to meet the increase in rent.

Speaking to the Geelong Advertiser, bub manager Nathan Brown said the owner has bought back the leasehold after failing to find a buyer for the hotel, meaning he can “do as he pleases now”.

“So whether it’s empty for two weeks, two months, two years — we don’t know,” he said.

Brown said the pub was the social heart of the community, describing it as “a lot more than just a pub”.

“Generations have come through, and I think that’s by far the saddest thing,” he said. “There’s a lot of people now who are going to be displaced in regards to a community hub for them.

“There are so many farmers who won’t see anyone else for weeks — until family come out or until they have something on — so the pub is where they come and catch up with people, and it’s part of the local community.

“We’ve even got a few single men in their 60s who come in and get their meals, so they actually have a decent meal, and the pub looks after them.”

The pub is going out with a bang though, with a farewell party planned for Saturday night, before opening for one last lunch on Sunday.

Sheridan Randall, 7th November 2019