Four years after its closure, the Highlander Tavern has reopened as The Julatten Hotel. Acquired last year by CLG, the Melbourne-based hospitality arm of Morris Group, The Julatten Hotel in Far North Queensland underwent a renovation before reopening last month.

Under the operation of CLG, the venue has returned as a popular weekend spot for locals and tourists to unwind and enjoy local produce.

Chris Morris, Founder of the Morris Group, became involved in the acquisition of the pub when he found himself among the locals.

“It’s not traditionally where we would go to buy pubs, but I own a resort nearby with 3,500 head of cattle. Six months before, I bought the land just down the road from the pub to fatten the cattle up. In talking to the locals, they were all a bit upset that that their local pub wasn’t being opened.”

Inspired to regenerate the venue, CLG made the only bid at the auction of the pub. “We got an exceptionally good deal for where it is, we couldn’t have got a better view. There’s not many hotels where you can just look out over the mountains and see no buildings, so we bought it, and for the last four months we have been fixing it up.”

The view of the mountains from Julatten Hotel.

Founded in 2008, CLG is a hospitality company with a diverse portfolio of venues across Australia, including popular North Queensland venues The Ville Resort, Orpheus Island Lodge and Daintree River Ecolodge.

“We’re about 20 minutes from Port Douglas, on the Tablelands, at the top of the hill and close to Mount Molloy. We get a lot of travellers dropping in on their way through, as well as locals,” said Morris.

Being close to Port Douglas, people will travel up for lunch, and people come from Cairns. It’s a day out, because it’s in a beautiful part of the world, and traditionally we are 10 to 15 degrees cooler than down in Port Douglas or Cairns with no humidity.”

The Julatten Hotel has reopened as a popular hub for tourists and locals alike, with a new menu of popular classics such as pizzas, burgers and steaks. Working with a range of local suppliers, the pub will offer special dishes such as spring rolls from local farm Barramundi Gardens, antipasti from Port Douglas Smokehouse and locally caught barramundi and prawns.

Open late from Wednesday to Sunday, The Julatten Hotel will have a large range of tap beers, with live music on weekends and weekday happy hour specials to entice customers.

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