Pub with 'cheapest drinks in town' struggles to stay afloat
IT MAY have the "cheapest drinks in town” but the Globe Hotel hasn't seen many patrons this month.
On the corner of Bolsover and South St in Depot Hill, it is one of the city's oldest watering holes.
But in sad news, licensee Rodney Riddett said it has been very quiet for some time.
He isn't the only publican who has struggled recently, The Morning Bulletin has reported on a number of issues surrounding Central Queensland pubs from the lack of trade at Marmor Hotel to the Bajool pub closing its doors next month due to ill-health of its managers.
In October, the doors closed at the Bouldercombe Hotel for the last time. It was later revealed the publican had declared bankruptcy and it also meant the closure of Blackall's Prince of Wales Hotel.
He said drought and rising power costs had crippled him.
Mr Riddett said a number of costs were sending his pub into the red, including liquor licensing fees.
If passed, the bill would reduce the fees from $3757 a year to just $376 for 112 pubs and 42 clubs.
But the change is only applied to commercial hotels or clubs in "very remote Australia”.
In the Central Western Queensland region, pubs in Blackall, Isisford and Yaraka were included.
Mr Riddett said he would have liked to see Rockhampton pubs included in the bill.
"We suffer in here too... when the economy is down, it's everywhere not just out west,” he said.
Under the old system, licence fees were determined by how much the pub sold for.
Mr Riddett said it's unfair for a small pub to pay the same amount as a pub that has made a lot of money.
"You have a lower income, you pay a lower tax,” he said.
On average, The Globe Hotel's power bill is around $3500 per quarter - another big sting.
They try to be efficient but in Rockhampton's weather, air conditioners are necessary.
"Blokes don't want to come down and relax and have a beer when they are sitting there sweating,” Mr Riddett said.
"We know the power bill is coming soon, now we have to try and get the money to pay it.”
In an attempt to get more customers, the Gold Coast-based owner has looked at some plans for some renovations on the old building.
They include painting the outside, refurbishment of the rooms upstairs and some work on the beer garden outside.
He also hoped to set up a takeaway shop at the side of the pub that would have street frontage.
Pool and darts competitions had helped to bring some of the crowd in.
Located right across from the old railway yard, the bar used to be the regular haunt for the workers.
Mr Riddett said a lack of work and a police presence had led to the demise of the pub and others in Depot Hill.
"By the time you get a taxi, what you pay over the bar compared to what you get at the bottle shop, it can be an expensive night,” he said.
True to what the old pubs used to be, Mr Riddett has made a point of not having pokies or Keno.
"People just like to have a beer and watch television,” he said.
- Built in 1866
- Corner of Bolsover and South St, Depot Hill
- Phone 4922 3832
- Public bar, lounge and outdoor beer garden