Updated: May 10, 2018
Perhaps one of the most iconic pubs in the Hunter, Wollombi Tavern has a rich history, full of stories and even some secrets, when it comes to the hotel’s infamous Dr Jurds Jungle Juice.
New owners Chris and Cathie Books purchased the venue in December last year and say it was the unique history of the pub, along with its pivotal role in the small village of Wollombi, that caught their interest.'
“We’re from Sydney but we have a home here in Wollombi,” Chris explains.
“We’ve lived here for about three years, still spending three days a week in Sydney, but it wasn’t until we bought the pub that I think we were really considered locals.”
Local patrons with new owner Chris Books (second from left)
“We’ve lived here for about three years, still spending three days a week in Sydney, but it wasn’t until we bought the pub that I think we were really considered to be locals...”
Chris describes Wollombi as a close-knit community, with the pub at the centre of pretty much everything.
“Before buying it, my wife and I used to come here and we would inevitably end up chatting about all the things we’d do with it if it was ours. Then four months ago the opportunity to buy the place came about and we knew right away that it was something we wanted to do.”
While the pub is well-known destination for weekend car and motor cycle clubs, Wollombi Tavern also plays a pivotal role raising money for the community, as well as a number of non-profit organisations.
“The beauty of this place is that its land can accommodate a number of activities, from car shows to tug-o-wars, camping and festivals,” Chris says.
“One of the commitments I made as a new owner was to ensure all the community traditions kept going. "We are on eight acres here and that in itself is unique. There are a lot of pubs that can accommodate a large number of people inside, but not many that have that much space outside.”