The Wollombi Tavern reopens with a makeover

On the 6th of July, the Hunter Valley village of Wollombi was absolutely smashed by its second largest ever flood. Only the Great Flood of 1949 beat it for height. This was only four months after the Great Flood of March 2022, which is in the top 10 for flood levels. An enduring image will be the photo of the flood waters lapping at the eaves of the Wollombi Tavern – a favourite watering hole of this correspondent, whose weekender is nearby. This photo was taken just before the waters were at their height.

My then neighbours, Chris & Cathie, bought the Tavern in 2018 – and have endured drought, bushfires, COVID19 the Great Flood of March 2022 and now this. Throughout they’ve kept their chins up and always say gidday no matter what. The flood was the last straw – and the CCs gratefully accepted an offer from a group of buyers. No regrets and they are going to enjoy being on the other side of the bar now.

Out of such destruction has come renewal and the new owners have re-opened the front bar and it is sort of back to normal for the Wollombi Tavern. They’ve take the opportunity to make some pretty significant changes and the new bar is extraordinary. I’m also a massive fan of the extended deck. The bar’s opened up by getting rid of the wall between the main room and the former pokies room. It just looks awesome and the all wood materials will probably withstand the next great flood (which 6 months away with another La Niña and the waters from the July flood still around).

There’s a couple of new beers to the Tavern line-up with Steel City All Day Lager and Hawkesbury Pacific Ale joining the old perennials – New, Old and Coopers Pale. The Dr Jurd’s Jungle Juice window has survived and the good Doctor’s ashes remained interred in the pillar. The Toohey’s New blue walls have been updated with a neutral sand colour. Much less garish, but the white line that marked the Great Flood of 2007 has gone.

There’s more changes in the offing and according the Tavern’s Instagram account there is a “proper Grand Reopening in November”, but for now it is great to be able to sip a beer on the deck and enjoy the country air. Wollombi Tavern – you’ve been missed.

Wollombi Tavern – 2993 Great North Road, Wollombi NSW