One of Wodonga’s oldest pubs will close this weekend for several months before re-opening with a new look and name.
Carrier Arms Hotel, Church Street, intends to become “a revitalised social hub for both young and old to come and enjoy a quality meal and beverage”, according to owner Leigh Esler.
“It will be a quality pub with fantastic service,” he said.
“The name will be changed; as yet we’ve not settled on one.
“We want our renovations to take as little time as possible but on the other hand we want to get this right.
“We will be closed for at least three months at this stage.”
Mr Esler bought the property last year from Wagga businessman Greg Evans, who owned it since the mid-2000s.
The present owner said the Carrier Arms was a Wodonga institution.
“It is in an ideal location with enormous potential to grow with Wodonga and build on the patronage it has gained throughout its long history,” he said.
“We aim to provide yet another option to draw more people to central Wodonga and complement the already well-established quality dining venues in the Junction Square precinct.”
Mr Esler said some Carrier Arms staff members, including head chef Matt Richter, would work at Albury’s Penny Black Cafe, due to reopen on Monday, during the renovations.
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The hotel, which has been serving drinks since the 1870s, will trade for the last time as is on Saturday.
“We hope to see many old faces over the next week in the pub to say goodbye and have one last drink with us before the temporary closure,” he said.
Carrier Arms manager Noeline Elvin-Wild said the upgraded venue would become more family-friendly and focused on meals.
“Still have the bar itself but it just needs a whole new refurb, so start from fresh,” she said.
Mrs Elvin-Wild said announcing the renovations had brought up a lot of memories for patrons.
“Some people don’t like change, but then they’re all excited to see what it’s going to look like,” she said.
“Just a lot of discussion about where they’re going to have their drinks for the next three to six months, but all plan on coming back so that’s a good thing.”
Mr Esler said the project had been developing for some time.
“It is a great opportunity for us to create an establishment that will appeal and serve all the residents of the Border and visitors,” he said.
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