By Amelia Ball

The new owner/operators of The Empire Bay Tavern on the NSW Central Coast have taken over the property and are carrying out the first stage of plans to overhaul the venue.

Gai and Collin Atkins, together with partners Jim and Chris Mathers, have bought the freehold tavern, which is on 1.2 hectares and had been under the same ownership since it was built in 1989.

The hotel has extensive outdoor opportunities, a TAB, restaurant, bottle shop and gaming room with nine poker machines, and sits in the middle of a village green.

“We’re busy renewing, refurbing, replacing… It’ll be all new and we have a new chef starting too,” Gai Atkins said. 

The Atkins have previously owned and run The Nabiac, The Horseshoe Bay Hotel at Bermagui, which is now called The
Bermagui Beach Hotel, and The Agnes Water Tavern in Queensland.

“We just love pubs and we like old pubs that need fixing up. That’s what we hope we’re good at,” Gai said.

“The whole hotel will eventually be revamped. It’s a real local workers’ pub, but the restaurant will be a little bit up market. We want it nice but it will still have pub food.”

The Shout Team

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