Iconic pub could reopen within 'a few days'
THE sudden closure of the 83-year-old Victory Hotel in Mooball shocked patrons this week but the beer might once again flow just in time for the next round of drinks.
Hotel owner Warren Moore told the Tweed Daily News he hoped the doors would reopen within "a few days or weeks".
"We're in negotiation with a few different (potential) tenants," Mr Moore said.
"There are a couple (of potential tenants) that are very local and well known, and we would enjoy that."
Mr Moore said he had been in the process of selling the pub, which his family has owned since 1958, but after changes to the New South Wales Liquor and Gaming Act decided to keep the family business.
"The Liquor and Gaming laws have changed and are very much favouring our continuance of the hotel," Mr Moore said.
"We were very sadly considering selling it. It's an important part of my family history."
Mr Moore said the proposed development which would see 250 homes build behind the Victory Hotel and increase the small rural village's population from 170-750 residents - more than four times its current size - was another plus in the hotel's long-term future.
"Mooball has the opportunity of developing further with the development of the big block of land at the back," he said.
"Mooball is as close to the Gold Coast as Brisbane is. People are increasingly doing day trips here and now we might be getting 250 houses behind the hotel.
"In the last 10 years, when they built the (bypass), the traffic dropped off and a lot of it went straight off the coast.
"But the volume of road traffic coming back down (Tweed Valley Way) is now back to (similar) levels before the expressway was built."
The decision to close the pub surprised many across the shire, with some taking to social media to share their dismay about the future of their local watering hole.
"Sad to see the closed sign out the front," Gordon Ross wrote online.
Another Mooball resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said the closure was "a bit of a shock for the community".
Reopening the pub would be another victory in the rich history of the country hotel, which was previously located the neighbouring village of Burringbar before it burnt down in the early 1930s.
Following the fire, the owner decided to rebuild at Mooball, causing division between the two villages which resulted in a local court battle.
The owner celebrated his win by naming the new pub the Victory Hotel.
Mr Moore said he had put a lot of work into the pub.
"When we first (bought the business) , it was a traditional bar with a front bar and two saloons at the back," he said.
"I've upgraded it and have put quite a bit of money into it."