ONE of Gunnedah’s oldest pubs has undergone a facelift thanks to two aspiring businessmen.
Brothers, Jake and Jaron Vigor have officially opened the Grand Elixxa on Conadilly Street on the site of the former Clubhouse Hotel.
The hotel was officially opened last week during AgQuip and comes after the brothers opened their first business, J&J Eats, in May this year.
Grand Elixxa co-owner Jake Vigor said owning a pub in Gunnedah had always been a dream of his.
“The chance to lease this place came up and I think it was just too good to refuse,” Mr Vigor said.
“It’s a wonderful space and to be honest it has always been a dream to open a pub.”
Fellow owner Jaron Vigor said the success of the brothers’ first business inspired them to open Grand Elixxa.
“The restaurant is going really well so far,” Mr Vigor said.
“It’s been a lot of hard work getting things right and how we want them, but it has been a lot of fun, too.
“Hopefully we can do something similar with this new business.”
The new hotel is set to feature live performances every Friday night, drink specials and lunch specials during the day.
“We will be looking to do a lot of different things with the new place,” Mr Vigor said.
“Things like themed nights, happy hour specials and a variety of quality meals will hopefully leave people wanting more.”
Older brother Jake said the brothers were aiming to create a family atmosphere in their new business.
“I think it is really important for a hotel to have its own unique identity,” he said.
“For us I think trying to create a family-friendly environment is key, as we want to encourage families to come in for a good time.
“Having a clean, modern and inviting space is, I think, the best place to start and we have been working really hard to try and create that feeling with our interior.”
Mr Vigor said while most of the refurbishments were complete, there was still work to be done.
“At the moment we are working on turning the TAB section of the bar into more of a lounge,” he said.
“We will still have the TAB facilities, but we are keen to try and make it as comfortable and as welcoming as possible.”
Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president Micheal Broekman praised the brothers for their efforts.
“The chamber is very excited to see these young guys having a go,” Mr Broekman said.
“We want to wish them well and assure them that the chamber is here to support them if they need it.”
Mr Broekman said the region’s drought was having an impact on local businesses across the district.
“There’s no doubt that we are going through a tough time,” he said.
“However, the diversity of Gunnedah is what is keeping things going and is why we are actually seeing more business open along Conadilly Street than in recent years.
“It’s times like these that we are very lucky to have such a variety of different businesses within our shire and our district.”
The vice-president said “seizing an opportunity” during hard times could pay dividends in the future.
“I want to applaud these boys and anyone who is taking an opportunity during this drought,” he said.
“If you model your business around what things are like when times are tough, when things do come good again, you should be in a strong position.”
- Grand Elixxa is located at 169 Conadilly Street, Gunnedah.