If you were looking for the most Aussie place to enjoy a cold one with your mates, get your stubby holders ready, because the Betoota Hotel is reopening after 20 long years.
Despite what your social media feed might tell you, Betoota is a legit place, a ghost town in central west Queensland with a population of zero. Nil. Nada. The nearest populated town is Birdsville, about 170km away.
The pub is getting a makeover before it re-opens to the public, The Brisbane Times reports, and the new owner — smash repairer Robert “Robbo” Haken — has had his eyes on the business for about 30 years, falling in love after having frequented the pub in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s.
“When I walked into the place, I just thought, ‘What an amazing bit of Australian history and why isn’t someone doing something with it?'” Haken told the publication.
Understandably, the purchase of such an iconic piece of Australian history wasn’t an easy one to secure. Previous owner Simon Remienko, the Polish-born publican who ran the hotel for 44 years before shutting it down in 1997, gifted it to some friends before his death but with some conditions attached.
Remienko said the pub shouldn’t be sold or re-opened. But, sure enough, after months of negotiation Robbo managed to make a deal.
The hotel is set to open for the town’s tourist season, from April until the end of November. Which is fair enough, seeing as 48-degree summer days aren’t uncommon in the area.
When asked Haken of the profitability of his new business venture, he said, “We’re all eager and want to have a go … I’m sure we’ll get through,” he said.
(Lead image: Betoota Hotel Outback Queensland / Facebook)