The new owners of the Bomaderry Hotel want to return the business to its “halcyon days”, making it a “family, friendly venue”.
Former Australian rugby league representative Ian Schubert and his long-time friend and now business partner Lloyd Segerstrom bought the hotel for $3 million and despite only taking over a week ago, have grand plans to revitalise the Meroo Street business.
Schubert famously broke open the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal as the NRL salary cap auditor, a position he held for 16 years,
He also represented his country, playing with Easts, Manly and Wests in a 15-year career, before moving into coaching and then administration.
After quitting the NRL last year, he joined with Mr Segerstrom, looking at a number of businesses before settling on the Bomaderry Hotel.
“We’ve been mates for 15 years and have always wanted to get into business together, and in particular in a pub,” Mr Schubert said.
“We saw the potential in the Bomaderry Hotel. It has good bare bones, it just needs some loving and we aim to give it that.
“Lloyd is a publican with 20 years' plus experience and when I decided to get out of the NRL we felt it was time to finally go into business together.
“We spent about 12 to 18 months looking around and looked at a lot of good locations. We came close to buying one pub in Tamworth, but we settled on the Bomaderry Hotel and we are delighted.”
The pair plans to undertake a number of renovations, including painting inside and out, improving the bottle shop and building a deck area at the front of the business.
They have already upgraded the cellars and kitchen and have the restaurant back up and running.
“We see it as a great opportunity - the South Coast is a lovely location and a growing area,” Mr Schubert said.
“We want to make it a hotel again,” Mr Segerstrom said. “It needs consistently good food and needs to provide everything a good hotel should provide for its patrons, including consistent business hours.
“Our big focus is making it family friendly - an attractive place families want to come to.”
“Pubs run in highs and lows, but there is no reason we can’t get the business back to its glory days,” Mr Schubert said.
“We are proud to be the owners of the Bomaderry Hotel and we want our patrons to also be proud of it as their local.”
They have already made significant change to entice families back to the business, reopening the restaurant and scrapping topless barmaids on Friday evenings.
“How can you expect to attract families when you have that going on?” Mr Segerstrom said.
The pair will oversee the day-to-day running of the operation, including pulling beers.
“The best pubs are always owner-operated and that’s what we’ll be doing,” Mr Segerstrom said.
“Hopefully by us revitalising the hotel it might encourage more business into the Bomaderry area.''