Community focus for country hotel

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Community focus for country hotel

When the Kalangadoo Hotel came up for lease six months ago, it was an offer too good to pass up for experienced publicans Sean and Debbie Docherty.

Since the couple took over the lease, Mr Docherty said they had refurbished the front bar, cleaned up the hotel and established a beer garden.

“The change in the hotel, what we have put into place is all positive,” he said.

“It has picked up dramatically over the last six months.”

The hotel is now open seven days a week from 11am onwards and the menu includes homestyle-cooked pub meals for lunch and dinner with everything made from scratch.

Mr Docherty said the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions had been great and live music would return to the hotel.

Lions Club raffles are hosted at the hotel every Friday where all money raised is donated back to the community.

The hotel recently made a $1000 donation to Kalangadoo Primary School and plan to organise a donation each month for the local community, surrounding schools and sporting clubs.

Mr Docherty said the Kalangadoo Hotel was keen to support local sporting clubs and the community with sponsorships and donations wherever they can.

“We have got a very loyal community here, I’m community-oriented so I like to be involved with the community,” he said.

Mr Docherty said patrons visited from Mount Gambier, Penola, Naracoorte, Millicent, Mount Burr and Glencoe along with motorbike riders, car clubs and Mary MacKillop walkers.

“It’s definitely going in the direction we would like it to go, a nice, positive, good atmosphere in the hotel,” he said.

“We’re attracting the surrounding townships to come out for a destination drive and have a meal and drinks.”

Hotel accommodation for $35 a night or $135 a week makes it easy for people to visit, have a few beers and stay the night or longer if they wish.

Mr Docherty is a former Mount Gambier man who has been involved in the hotel industry since he was 15 years old, starting off as a glassy and making his way up the ranks.

He moved to Adelaide where he met Ms Docherty and they moved to Queensland and ran hotels together for 23 years before moving back to be closer to grandchildren in Adelaide.

He said the best part about being a publican was the social side of the industry, the people he meets and that Kalangadoo was a very welcoming community.

“The country town atmosphere is just so friendly and inviting and you get the community behind you and you’re backing the community so it all goes around in a circle,” he said.

“That’s what the hotel is about, it’s a meeting point for the community and surrounding area.”

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