Ipswich pub Mihi Tavern reopened on Saturday, eight months after having to close due to damage from flash flooding.

After the forced closure, pub owners Australian Venue Co embarked on a comprehensive $2.5 million renovation of the suburban pub.

“The entire venue has undergone a major refurbishment.  Basically everything is different, except our undying love for our locals!” stated venue manager Erica Cartwright.

The dining space has been revamped to now offer both indoor and outdoor dining options. The indoor space includes booth seating, while the outdoor dining area includes a barbecue and an adjoining bar and lounge space, as well as a new kid’s play space which is the largest in the local area.

The sports bar now has one large screen and several smaller screens to broadcast a variety of sports, with a special focus on UFC. The refreshed beer garden is now dog-friendly, and includes two bocce lanes for patrons to enjoy. The venue also has a new stage for live music.

Mihi Tavern’s menu has also had a refresh as part of the relaunch, with a focus on a range of chicken parmigianas. Patrons can also take on the new Parmi Challenge, where they can try their luck at eating a 1kg Chicken Parmi, 300g chips and a side salad in 10 minutes to score the meal for free, a photo on the Wall of Parmi Fame and limited edition stubby cooler.

Community celebrations

The venue’s bistro and sports bar reopened on Saturday 10 October, with the beer garden and kids play area to reopen from Wednesday. The venue’s gaming room re-opened earlier in October.

Since Saturday, the pub has seen immediate support from the local community.

“We are so excited by the response from all our locals over the weekend. Great to have the doors back open again.  On Saturday, our first day of trade, we were at COVID capacity by 5:30pm, everyone was keen to get the first look.  There has been so much positive feedback from our locals, they really love what we have done with the place,” stated Cartwright.

Mihi Tavern is hosting festivities all week to celebrate its reopening, including giving away 50 free burgers each day. Local’s Night on Friday 16 October will thank the Brassall community for its support of the venue with free food and beverage, as well as live entertainment in the sports bar. There will also be a sausage sizzle and raffle to raise money for the local Rural Fire Brigade.

The week of celebrations will be capped off with a family day on Saturday with plenty of entertainment and snacks for kids, while Sunday afternoon will see free treats for dogs in the beer garden.

While the forced closure of the pub in February was devastating for Mihi Tavern’s staff and local community, Cartwright says the resultant renovation has helped improve its offer.

“We had a unique opportunity for us to refresh the venue – it needed a bit of love – and we can now give our locals a bigger and better MiHi experience. Their home away from home just got a whole lot better.”

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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