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Why this pub was almost the pub with no beer

TRANSFORMATION: New Coolum Beach Hotel manager Tony Murray, councillor Stephen Robinson and former manager Gary Bray are excited about next week’s opening.
TRANSFORMATION: New Coolum Beach Hotel manager Tony Murray, councillor Stephen Robinson and former manager Gary Bray are excited about next week’s opening. Mike Garry

GOT beer?

That was the question on local lips as the Coolum Beach Hotel almost became the pub with no beer.

Thirsty punters rolled up for their morning tipple at about 10.30 yesterday only to find the revamped establishment wasn't quite ready to roll out the schooners.

While the operators still managed to meet their scheduled opening date, more than a couple of local booze hounds had to bite their tongues as they waited to taste the liquid amber.

Some last-minute negotiations with the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation delayed the bar's opening until just after 4pm.

"The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has approved the application for the Coolum Beach Hotel following the licensee's request to negotiate the proposed conditions of its licence.

They are now permitted to commence trading," an OLGR spokeswoman said yesterday afternoon.

From all accounts the wait was well worth it, with images of a packed public bar and plenty of smiles on faces boding well for the future of the new hotel.

Coolum Business and Tourism president Noel Mooney said he had taken his team to test out the new venue at midday and been met by closed doors.

"It was a little bit worrying," Mr Mooney said.

"There was people lined up there at 10am to check it out."

Mr Mooney said ALH, the group in charge of the hotel, had done a fantastic job in revamping the old pub, and he was hopeful it would attract some fresh faces to Coolum.

"They've done a really good job," he said.

"It's going to bring a lot more people to the town.

"It's a pretty good-looking beer garden."

New manager Tony Murray said he hoped the hotel would be the hub of the community.

"We want to make it something the people of Coolum will be proud of," he said.

He plans to hit the ground running, with entertainment scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights and New Year's Eve.

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