This week marks the end of an era at the George Tavern Greenhills, as the keys to the award-winning pub are handed over to new owners Thomas Hotels.
After more than 20 years at the George Tavern, Greenhills hospitality couple Dan and Janine Redman described the sale of the hotel as a bittersweet, but necessary move.
The sale, brokered by highly-experienced, Hunter-based broker Deane Moore from Moore & Moore Real Estate currently represents the highest price paid for a hotel in the Newcastle Hunter Region to date.
But for both Dan and Janine, running the hotel has been more than a business. It has been something that has changed and shaped their lives for more than two decades.
“This place has been more than a business to us,” Janine said.
“It’s been part of our family and many of the team here feel like our children in a lot of ways. For as long as we’ve been here, our motto has always been ‘Your Local Pub’, and for us that has meant being a true part of the community. This hotel has changed our lives and we’d like to think the community support we’ve been able to provide has also had a positive impact on the lives of people around us.”
After coming into the business as silent partners in 1998, Dan and Janine, who until then had been running a local accounting and business development company, inevitably took over the hotel in 2004 and made it their own.
“We were never hoteliers prior to coming into the George,” Dan said.
“We had business expertise yes, but we’d never actively run a hotel. It was a steep learning curve to say the least, but 20 years on we certainly have no regrets.”
Throughout their time at the helm, the hotel has undergone a major transformation and hosted numerous fundraisers that the couple believes have together amounted into hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.
“Through our weekly draws and raffles that are allocated to, and run by, local community groups some organisations such as Maitland FC have been able to raise more than $100,000 over the years. In addition to that we’ve had numerous stand-alone fundraisers held for people who have needed a helping hand,” Janine said.
"Our fundraiser for former bar manager Dom Punch, who in 2016 sustained a life-changing football injury, was another example of how this venue has been a platform for supporting those who need it most.
“But it’s our community and patrons who really made that possible. Whatever or whoever it is we wanted to support, they always showed up, dug deep and were willing to help. We’ve been the platform, but they are the heart behind it.”