THE doors of the Rupanyup Commercial Hotel will remain shut after last call tonight due a continued decline in patrons.
Owner Hope Coote said she and her husband Shae had decided it was time for the family to move on after six-and-a-half years.
“We have three kids now and we’ve had some hard times recently,” she said. “The silo brought more business initially but things have slowed down again and it’s not as viable as it used to be.”
The decision to purchase the hotel was of a “spur of the moment decision” for the Rupanyup-born Shae and Warrackneabeal-born Hope in May 2012.
“We really didn’t know what we were doing at the start,” Mrs Coote said. “When we first opened we couldn’t handle it because it was so busy but now trying pull people in has become a lot harder.
“I think that’s what it’s like for every country pub though – we’ve had a few other publicans call in and they all say the same.”
Mrs Coote said the family had enjoyed its time running the small town’s only pub.
“We’ve had plenty of fun times here,” she said. “The people are great and it’s definitely been lovely.
“The community has been great but we can’t keep going when it doesn’t turn a profit.”
She said the family might not know what to do with itself initially.
“It’s certainly a sad day for us,” she said. “All of the kids have practically been born here. They're excited to not have to be here and it should mean more family time moving forward.”
The hotel has been on the market for close to two years with the Cootes having moved to Murtoa in the past year.
Mrs Coote said potential buyers had recently come through to look at hotel.
“They went on to look at a few other country pubs as well,” she said. “Fingers crossed that someone will come along and take it on. I’d hate to see all the locals that have supported us not have anywhere to go.”