Dooen Hotel new owners: Gemma Petrilli, Alison Faux take over

DOOEN DUO: Gemma Petrilli and Alison Faux are the new owners of the Dooen Hotel. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI
DOOEN DUO: Gemma Petrilli and Alison Faux are the new owners of the Dooen Hotel. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

FOR Alison Faux and Gemma Petrilli, owning a pub was never really on the agenda.

"It was not really ever thought about - it was one of those things that rich people do," Mrs Faux said.

"I didn't see it as something I could do."

Ms Petrilli said 12 months ago she would never have dreamed of owning a pub.

The two women are the new owners of the Dooen Hotel.

Ms Petrilli, 22, has worked behind the bar at the Dooen for three-and-a-half years and Mrs Faux, 32, has worked there in a variety of roles intermittently for nine years.

The pair met working at the Dooen in October and by March had started to discuss seriously the possibility of taking it over.

"It was a bit of a joke - 'hey, why don't we buy the pub?'," Mrs Faux said.

"Every step closer it became more serious until it came to the point where it was something we knew we could pull off and we know our customers are going to like it."

Ms Petrilli said their relative youth had raised a few eyebrows .

"People have questioned that and asked how we are going to handle drunken people on late nights," she said.

"We've been working here for long enough to know how to deal with those issues.

"People are always going to have something to say but the majority have been positive and helpful.

"Everyone is offering their support."

The pair said it would look at a few minor tweaks, but on the whole it would be business as usual.

Ms Petrilli said the patrons and the staff were like a family.

"We love the pub for what it is - that's why we wanted to buy it," she said. "I'm sure we'll come up with a few little things here and there, but we don't want to change the atmosphere of the pub."

Mrs Faux said the character of the Dooen needed to be maintained by people who understood it.

"If someone from out of town or a city person started running the pub it would die," she said.

The pub will continue to sponsor the Pimpinio Football Netball Club and Longerenong College students will still line the bar for their Wednesday-night drinks.

"They are a great bunch of kids," Ms Petrilli said.

Mrs Faux said she hoped people abandoned any preconceived ideas they had about the pub and gave it a try.

"We know the Dooen has a stigma - that it's a different kind of breed," she said.

"We are about breaking down the stigma of it being a different pub.

"We are seeing some faces I haven't seen before and getting some great feedback.

"It's lovely to have new patrons come out and give us a go."

Mrs Faux said she and Ms Petrilli had high expectations for customer service at the pub.

"At the core of the pub, we love how it's genuine and honest," she said.

"We serve farmers, lawyers, doctors, students and families.

"People who like heavy metal or hip-hop - they're all welcome and they all get along."

Mrs Faux said previous owners Mick and Helen Harris had provided wonderful support.

"Mick's gone above and beyond in teaching us everything that might help us in the future - we consider Mick and Helen family," she said.

Ms Petrilli and Mrs Faux will officially take over the Dooen Hotel on Monday.


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