It’s long been a place where locals would gather over a beer, a meal or just to have a chat after footy training.
But Katamatite locals have been feeling a hole in their community since the only hotel called last drinks at the end of February, and now a group of enthusiastic locals are hatching a plan for a new pub in the heart of the town.
The group has put the call out to the rest of Katamatite to start their very own community pub, with the opportunity to purchase shares for $3000.
One of the drivers of the project, Julie Glance, said there had already been plenty of interest from the community.
‘‘We’ve already had 25 expressions of interest since the flyers when out (last Monday) and we’re hoping to grow that to 200,’’ Ms Glance said.
‘‘It’s been a combination of people expressing interest — we’ve had business people, the farming community and young families.’’
With the former pub steeped in history, the current plan is to start afresh somewhere new in the town and build the community pub from scratch.
Ms Glance said if things went the way the community hoped, they would be able to look for licensees to run the pub once it was finished, hopefully creating a new chapter in the town’s history and a strong business.
‘‘We believe it’s a very viable business, there’s plenty of passing trade and the community always supports it very well,’’ she said.
The Boosey Creek Cafe and Tavern on Beek Street, owned by Colin and Margaret Galvin, has recently opened its doors for drinks a couple of times a week, with meals starting at the tavern this week for Friday and Saturday nights, and for Sunday lunch.
An official grand opening is planned at the tavern in the coming weeks.
Since the closure of the pub, community members have been descending on the football club on a Thursday night to catch up over a meal.
Katamatite Football Club committee member Damian Kennedy said he had seen the hole left in the community by the pub’s closure.
‘‘We’re missing a meeting place, it’s a place to catch up, it’s a community where people roll in from anywhere — they want to go to the pub and have a meal and catch up on what’s going on around the place ... it’s left a big hole in the community from the top to the bottom of the community,’’ Mr Kennedy said.
‘‘And it’s not just the town, it’s the 30km to 40km radius around the town that are missing it as well — they get in their car, they come to Katamatite and mix with Katamatite people. They’re missing that everywhere.’’
Ms Glance said once there was sufficient interest from the public a general meeting would be organised to discuss the plan moving forward and elect a group of directors.
■To register your interest, email [email protected] and indicate the number of shares you would be interested in purchasing.