BALLDALE is bucking the trend with its pub to re-open later this year after last drinks were called nearly a decade ago.
Brothers Glenn and Leigh Booth are rolling the dice on bringing the hotel, which was built in 1905 and shut 106 years later, back to life, much to the delight of the tight-knit southern Riverina village near Corowa.
The pub's demise in 2011 coincided with the closure of the town's shop and school, but the two Melbourne-based brothers who work in the electrical industry and their partners have lifted spirits again at a time when some country pubs, big and small, are feeling the pinch.
Earlier this year, Marie Misic sold the pub her parents Meggs and Rose Fahey operated for many years, kick-starting a massive restoration and renovation job
The derelict building has a bar, dining area, beer garden and 10 accommodation rooms presently undergoing a major makeover.
Glenn was the first to inspect the pub when in the area during Christmas-New Year visiting another brother who lives in Howlong.
"It had been closed for eight years and the previous owner pretty just much walked out," he said.
"It is an old pub and needs plenty of work, but we know that.
"We are pretty busy back at home and will just try and balance things."
Leigh and his partner Jo had a pub on their radar and hoped the hotel could be a destination pub with quality meals and cold beer.
"It's all happened pretty quickly," he said.
"From a building perspective we had to clean it out because there had been sheep running through it."
They are eyeing off a Melbourne Cup weekend opening.
Balldale resident and Federation councillor Fred Longmire said the pub's revival had been a bolt from the blue.
"We lost the school, cafe and then the pub all within the space of six months," he said.
"We almost disappeared off the map.
"Not in my wildest dreams did I think it would ever re-open."
His daughter Shelley, who also lives nearby, had her 21st birthday at the pub and her son Will is hoping it will be open for his 18th birthday.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.