There is little us Aussies enjoy more than getting together with friends, family or colleagues, tucking into some good food and having a relaxing night out.
A good local, a true local, is like an extension of your lounge room - you feel comfortable and welcomed whenever you walk in.
When a pub works well, it's more than a watering hole, it’s a community. And, for new owner of Mudgee’s Cooyal Hotel, Dave Miller, the sense of community is the essence of this rural pub.
“The best thing about being here is that the Cooyal is part of the community,” he said. “The pub is like a little hub. Many locals wouldn’t necessarily see or talk to anyone except for when they pop in to a place like this.”
Out the back you can sit on the new deck, drink a beer and watch the roos hop around on one side and then on the other there are sheep happily grazing.Dave Miller, Cooyal Hotel owner
Sitting on its ownsome out on Wollar Road, the Cooyal is a quintessential Aussie pub.
“We are a pub out in the middle of nowhere,” Dave said. “All around, as far as the eye can see, are farms.”
Visitors drive across the Wollar and are pleasantly surprised when the hotel seems to rise out of nowhere. Walk through the doors, Dave said, and you’ll be charmed all over again.
“The rural atmosphere is the biggest asset at the Cooyal,” he said of the newly renovated hotel. “Out the back you can sit on the new deck, drink a beer and watch the roos hop around on one side and then on the other there are sheep happily grazing.”
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Dave has worked hard to ensure the “family friendly” tag genuinely applies to this hotel, with something for everyone to do at the Cooyal, and certainly something for everyone to tuck into.
There is a playground for the younger kids, building blocks for toddlers and, yes, a PlayStation to keep even the grumpiest of teens happily occupied. You can be amazed at your family and friends’ lack of general knowledge at the Cooyal trivia nights, try your hand at poker or marvel at the wonderful array of talented local musios who step onto stage.
Fresh from performing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, self-confessed ‘sassy’ singer Jess Holland will launch her third album, Miss Demeanour, at the Cooyal Hotel on February 10.
“Jess chose us because it was the first place she performed as a teen,” Dave said. “She has a great affinity with this place and the people.”
Jess Holland’s video for Australian Dreamer
But, wait. There’s more. The Cooyal’s food is as good as it’s atmosphere and entertainment. Chef Matty Kay is working with the Cooyal team to develop smart new ideas for the hotel’s menu and has already “designed” a lunchtime spiced Angus beef hamburger to wow taste buds (comes complete with a secret, homemade sauce).
You can also enjoy a steak, lamb cutlets, schnitzel, beer battered fish, pan seared salmon or a Sunday roast. Or sip on an espresso and snack on a muffin or toastie from the new coffee shop.