Updated: Feb 26, 2019
New hoteliers Justin Olive and Cindy Foster
It's one thing to pop down to the local for a beer. It's another to come back owning the pub.
But that's exactly what happened one afternoon at Sandy Hollow Tourist Hotel.
When Justin Olive left the house one afternoon last December, he intended to go to his local, the Sandy Hollow Tourist Hotel, for a couple of beers. By the time he got home he had bought the pub.
A former boiler maker, Justin was not the kind of guy who always dreamed of owning a pub, in fact it had never really crossed his mind until that fated afternoon when conversation around the bar turned to the potential sale of the pub.
"A group of us were just chatting with the hotelier and the topic turned to the pub itself. I asked a few questions about the food and how the hotel operated. Then he pulled me aside and asked if I was interested in owning it," Justin said.
"It wasn't officially for sale, it hadn't been listed or anything, it was just out of the blue. I turned to him and said okay, I'll buy it."
While some women may have had an adverse reaction to the sudden purchase of a pub, Justin's long-time partner Cindy Foster took it all in her stride.
"I was surprised, but I agreed," Cindy said.
"We had been considering opening a cafe. Now we own the pub."
"It wasn't officially for sale, it hadn't been listed or anything, it was just out of the blue. I turned to him and said okay, I'll buy it..."
As instant hoteliers, the couple have come across a few challenges, including the somewhat complex TAB system, but believe being long-time locals themselves has its advantages.
"The local patrons are our mates and they were shocked at first, but they love it," Cindy said.
"After Justin said he'd buy it we kept it pretty quiet until the actual hand over, but once everyone found out they were really happy about it."
Justin said the main sentiment in the area is that locals are thrilled to have one of their own buy the hotel, rather than a commercial group from out of town.