Cobargo Hotel stands tall during bushfires, coronavirus

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Cobargo's Rod Vickers holds the torch that is being carried around the country for the Carlton & United Breweries' 'pub crawl'.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Cobargo's Rod Vickers holds the torch that is being carried around the country for the Carlton & United Breweries' 'pub crawl'.

Cobargo Hotel has been at the heart of its community through tough times this year.

This week the hotel was featured in a national 'pub crawl' organised by Carlton & United Breweries to help struggling pub owners in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown, and which aims to raise $2 million.

Publican Dave Allen said it was a nice promotion to help his pub out, but while many pubs had to close due to COVID-19 restrictions Cobargo's was "a bit unique" in that after the bushfires many people arrived in town to support them.

It's going to take years and years and years to rebuild all these houses. The money that's been donated by Australians needs to be used.

Dave Allen

The pub continued to provide takeaways during the lockdown and when the rule allowing 50 people inside pubs was brought in Cobargo's became very busy.

"It has been good, all the support we've got," he said. "It's been tough and still is tough on a lot of people who lost their houses, don't have toilets and are living in caravans.

"Anything we can do to provide them with a bit of fun is worthwhile."

Mr Allen hears many stories of people living in difficult situations, such as a few weeks ago when a woman who was sleeping in her car came into the hotel.

He said she did have a caravan to live in, but needed to sleep in an upright position due to a back condition so would spend the nights in her car.

"It really got to me, because people shouldn't have to do that," he said.

"People need help, they need better temporary houses than what they've got.

"It's going to take years and years and years to rebuild all these houses.

"The money that's been donated by Australians needs to be used."

In commenting on the 'pub crawl', CUB CEO Peter Filipovic said he was thrilled pubs were beginning to re-open across the country, "and what better way to celebrate than with an official re-opening ceremony and a national pub crawl".

"We hope that this campaign helps shine a spotlight on the brilliant pubs across the country and encourages Australians to head back to their local and support the pubs that are at the heart of their communities," he said.

This story The pub at the heart of Cobargo's community first appeared on Bega District News.