Bulga once again has a ‘watering hole’ with the reopening of the village’s pub, now called the Bulga Tavern.
Locals and visitors alike can enjoy a drink and a meal in the completely refurbished building and grounds located adjacent to Wollombi Brook or what the locals call the Cockfighter Creek – the former name of the tavern.
In mid 2017 the business was acquired by mining giant Rio Tinto who then owned the neighbouring mine Mount Thorley Warkworth (MTW). With the subsequent sale of MTW to the Chinese miner Yancoal in September of that year the company not only purchased an open cut coal mine but also got ownership of the tavern. Closed and seeking a new manager Bulga residents were worried about the future of their iconic tavern.
Today it is looking spic and span thanks to the efforts of the new licencee Lee Williams and her husband Warren Welsh and their family.
Yancoal paid for the renovations that include a new kitchen, toilets and state of the art bar facilities. Outside there is now a children’s playground and beef garden.
Lee who has lived in Bulga for 15 years said she drove past the tavern one day and saw they were seeking new managers to take over the business and thought why not have a go. She has previously worked in the industry and was keen to see the tavern reopen.
“Its great to have the community support and encourage us to get the tavern up and running again and we are looking forward to running a successful family business at the tavern,” she said.
“The old tavern was never really given the love and attention it needed – we have changed that even before reopening with its makeover.”
Her family operate Wetawi water supplies and given the drought conditions they have been flat out this year delivering water in the district as well as getting the tavern up and running.
Their sons drive the trucks delivering the water and it now looks like the will also be delivering some beers in their spare time.
The bar features a gylco beer system with six beers on tap and a post mix – meaning the tavern has all the latest gadgetry of a modern day pub. The tavern will provide meals seven days a week.