Owner hopes old pub will open in summer

AMBER BOURKE
Last updated 12:32 19/05/2012

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The Travellers Rest pub in Appleby will remain closed for winter but will re-open under new management by summer.

The pub by State Highway 60 has been closed since April 28, with tenants Shane West and Kylie Albert vacating the premises and terminating their lease.

Owner Chris White-Johnson is hopeful that they will have a new tenant and adamant that it will be open for the summer.

"At the end of the day it's been around for a long time and it will carry on being around, it will just be under a different operator, whoever that will be.

"If someone approached us tomorrow and said they wanted to lease the property then it would be available for negotiation."

Mr White-Johnson would not comment on the most recent tenants but confirmed that they had vacated the premises.

Mr West said their motives for leaving behind The Travellers Rest were financial and that the rent was getting too high.

"We've been there for four years. When we moved in the landlord put up the rent and we've been struggling ever since.

"In the winter I'd get behind by about $20,000 but would make it up in the summer time but we had a bad summer this year," Mr West said.

Mr White-Johnson said the leasees signed the lease knowing the rent.

Mr West recalled that meeting "great local people" was one of the highlights of his time at The Travellers Rest but the amount of money they were paying each week was not.

Mr West would like to run another business in the future but was apprehensive about signing another lease.

"I will definitely be a lot wiser if we sign up for another lease in the future," he said.

The Travellers Rest first opened in 1851 and has been trading for 161 years.

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- The Nelson Mail

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