The once-popular Somerton Pub recently re-opened its doors under the new management of Annette Mackley. And when future plans already in the pipeline come to fruition, the village’s watering hole could easily be dubbed the must-take-in hub of activity in this area.
The official opening was held in conjunction with the Somerton Hotel Fishing Club’s annual Yabby and Canoe Race. Annette though attributes a big kick-start to the success of the pub’s future is the support received from all those fishing club members.
“They’ve been so supportive in running the barbecue for us while the kitchen is being renovated. Until that happens, we’ll continue to provide the barbecue and serve bar food like pies, sausage rolls, quiches and bacon/egg rolls,” she said.
Annette manages the hotel for new owners, Hawkesbury’s Jason and Sherry Steele and their son Jayden, who also own a mixed breeding property at Barraba which will supply the hotel with meat for its proposed Paddock To Plate once the current kitchen renovations are completed.
Prior to taking on managing the hotel for “a great family”, Annette boasts a 40-year career in beauty therapy – something she still finds the time to practice. She’s travelled the countryside getting work wherever needed for many years before returning to Manilla and opening the Appletree Café, a venture that only lasted several months because of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“I was looking around for something to do, and through a friend, found out that Jason and Sherry had purchased the pub and were looking for someone to manage it for them.”
The current kitchen renovations are only a drop in the ocean of what’s being planned for the future of the hotel.
“We’ll have a big billboard advertising everything that’s going to be happening here,” Annette said.
The pub opens 7am daily to catch the early bird looking for a quick snack, until late(particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings) and a courtesy bus will be provided.
Live music can be enjoyed every second weekend, a shaded outdoor area with children’s playground are also features. The next scheduled gig will be Valentine Day celebrations on Saturday, February 13. That will take in an outdoor movie night where patrons can be treated to champagne and nibbles (due to the kitchen still not being open), cost for that is $50 a couple, with bookings on 0447 115984 a must.
Thursday night is being dubbed Pizza Night, where eventually, a woodfired pizza oven will be constructed in the old disused concrete tank outside the hotel.
Water facilities are some distance away, but on February 27, a Show N Shine Boat Show is scheduled.
“People can bring along their speed boats, or even create a novelty boat where plenty of prizes will be on offer. And perhaps – depending on the ruling- we’ll slot in some market stalls, all of which will be Covid compliant.”
Annette added that plenty of overnight accommodation room is available for patrons wishing to party on.
“We have four dongers and four powered sites out the back. Or people can just bring their own van or camping gear if they wish to stay on. We had our first overnighter the other day – a fellow travelling through from Melbourne. Our motto here is ‘Be Safe’, encouraging people to stay on and have a couple of drinks. Shower and toilet facilities are also available.”
A pool competition and NRL Footy Tipping will also be drawcards, and what would a hotel be without its weekly Friday night Fishing Club raffle. For the gallops’ fan, the hotel hopes to this year support the annual Somerton Cup Day at Gunnedah racecourse.The hotel also features on the Pub Camping website and Facebook for those wishing to learn more.