JEPARIT’S last pub, Hopetoun House Hotel, has closed its doors.
The hotel’s publicans shut up shop last week for health and personal issues.
Melbourne-based owner Greg McKay said the hotel’s closure had caught him off guard.
“It was fairly sudden so at the moment I am trying to work out the options as to whether it should remain as it is or would be better suited for a different use,” he said.
“It could perhaps be more focused on accommodation or maybe just be a residence.
“The accommodation is still available but unfortunately the pub had to close.
“It would be a shame if it didn’t continue as a pub because it is a family-friendly place.”
While the hotel’s freehold was for sale before the pub closed, both the building and business are now on offer.
“If this pub goes, Jeparit is that little step closer to a ghost town,” Mr McKay said.
“The town’s newsagency burnt down a while ago and then we lost the hardware store so if the pub closed it would not be for the beneﬁt of the town.”
Jeparit man Neil Zanker, who has lived in the area all his life, said there had always been a pub in Jeparit.
He said the town’s residents were disappointed the hotel had closed.
“I was disappointed when the other pub shut a few years ago and we were down to one pub,” he said.
“Now we don’t have any.”
Mr Zanker said the pub’s closure could hurt Jeparit’s tourism.
“When people travel through town now there is nowhere to stop,” he said.
“Especially in the summer if Lake Hindmarsh is full – that is quite a big drawcard for us with people camping and staying here.”
Mr McKay said people could find out more information about Hopetoun House Hotel at jeparit.com.au.