The Pub in Tamworth, the first venue opened by Bevan and Joan Douglas in 1989, will celebrate its 30th birthday on Friday.

The couple, who would become renowned pub operators over the course of the next three decades, had no experience in pubs when they first opened the venue at the tail end of the 80s.

“I’d never poured a beer in my life until the day we opened the pub,” Bevan Douglas told Australian Hotelier.

He would go on to become one of the most respected operators in the business, being inducted into AHA NSW’s Hall of Fame in 2018.

Bevan and Joan’s strengths made for a pub that functioned well both back- and front-of-house, and their love for the community made The Pub a venue that many in Tamworth would visit regularly.

“Bevan was very social publican and he loved his regulars and we loved the patrons,” explained Joan.

“My favourite time is behind the scenes, I must admit. I preferred the work on the inside of the bar but Bevan loved the social atmosphere. He was like a duck to water as soon as we opened the doors — we really had a great love of the patrons and the people that drank here. I think that was the driving force of our work.”

Joan Douglas (bottom left) with The Pub staff in the 1990s.

Reflecting on their time in the industry, Bevan and Joan have seen the role of pubs in the community evolve from solely watering holes to community spaces.

“The introduction of good food and a family atmosphere has been an amazing change in the whole attitude towards pubs. Now you’re welcoming kids with things like playgrounds. It’s a whole different business to the one we started 30 years ago.”

Today, The Pub and the three other hotels within The Pub Group’s portfolio are run by the couple’s two children Jarod and Tierzah and their respective spouses, Tanika Douglas and Craig Power.

In celebration of The Pub’s 30th anniversary, celebrations will be held on Friday, including a performance by local band Redneck Gentlemen, followed by one of Australia’s most popular country DJs, DJ Bux.

“It’s really like a massive reunion with the most enjoyable part being all our staff and customers past and present coming to together to share their stories, experiences and memories,” stated Craig Power, manager of The Pub Group.

Presentations will also be made throughout the night. Besides Bevan and Joan, the two longest-serving members of The Pub’s team Melanie Malpass and Therese Evans, having worked at The Pub for 29 and 28 years respectively, will also be honoured.

Bevan Douglas laying bricks during The Pub’s construction.

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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1 Comment

  1. Dear Joan. I wish to thank for hosting me at the golden guitars back then. I hope you know how much i appreciated every thing while i was there. I truly enjoyed everything and had a wonderful ti both times i came. All my best wishes for you, your family, staff at the pub. It was one of the very most enjoyed times of my life.
    Thank You.

    Rick Austin Vancouver BC. Ph 1-778-772-0737

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