Bargo Hotel has joined a host of other pubs in the shire to receive a major makeover.
The once dingy hotel now has a new lease on life thanks to new owners Lloyd Segerstrom and former Australian rugby league player Ian Schubert.
The owners bought the pub in November last year and have been refurbishing it since with the help of manager Samantha Letic.
“The inside and outside of the hotel used to be orange with green trim – old Federation colours,” Ms Letic said.
“There was carpet in the main bar area that has now been replaced with floorboards. The carpet was gross and sticky.”
Mr Segerstrom said the kitchen had been modernised, air-conditioning and sewerage.
“The kitchen now has all new equipment and has been brought out of Noah’s Ark,” he joked.
“Some of the furniture has also been updated.”
The outside has also been painted a dark grey.
The owner said the second half of the pub would also receive an update.
He hopes to be finished the renovations by Easter next year.
Renovations have also been started or are planned at George IV Inn, The Oaks Hotel, Picton Hotel and Camden Valley Inn.
Ms Letic, who has worked at the pub for seven years, said she was pleased the Bargo Hotel now had a lively, family-friendly atmosphere.
“Before the renovation, nothing happened at the pub,” she said.
“Now we have two bands perform a month, as well as musical bingo, karaoke, trivia and school holidays activities.
“Our target audience is families.
“Our last school holiday activities included pizza cooking classes, slime and kids bingo.
“During the next school holidays there will be a large obstacle course that will take kids 50 minutes to complete.”
Locals can also hire the hotel for parties and functions.
“It used to be a morgue at the hotel on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights,” Ms Letic said. “Now the hotel is abuzz and is an exciting place to be.”
The manager said she also wanted to reintroduce markets in the paddock next to the pub.
“There used to be popular markets there years ago,” she said.
Ms Letic said the pub had continued to offer the “pub favourites” as well as weekly chef’s specials.
“We have huge servings, good quality pub food and good prices,” she said.
Mr Segerstrom said the feedback about the renovation from locals and business owners had been positive.
“Locals have loved seeing the change,” he said.
“We are doing the renovations for the community because it is their pub.
“We want the community to have pride in the hotel.”
The owners have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into the pub.
Mr Segerstrom and Mr Schubert, who looks after the administration side of the hotel, previously renovated Bomaderry Hotel.
They sold that pub but plan to hold onto Bargo Hotel for the long-term.
Mr Segerstrom has been renovating pubs for more than 20 years.
He and Mr Schubert have been friends for 30 years and in recent years became business partners.
Mr Schubert played for Australia, Eastern Suburbs Roosters, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and Western Suburbs Magpies in the 1970s and 1980s.
He later became the chief salary cap auditor for the National Rugby League.