HORSHAM'S Royal Hotel has a new owner after mother-son duo Reggie and Jan-Maree Bennett embark on a new adventure.
The former owners decided to sell the business after four years in the industry.
Horsham's Grant Fiedler has now taken the reins after finishing-up a long career as a principal in the Wimmera.
Mr Fiedler said he has always dreamed of owning a pub.
"I first looked into buying a pub in my early 20's," he said.
"As a principal, I would've ticked up about 20 years continuous service across four schools, but I am looking for the last bit of my working life to explore another passion."
Mr Fiedler said the Royal Hotel ticked all his boxes, but most importantly it was a "classic, Aussie pub."
"I frequented at pubs over the years and always enjoyed the atmosphere. I want this pub to be the best it can be," he said.
"I think any business needs to keep improving in the ways the public wants.
"I want it to be a pub for everyone and a place where everyone can feel welcomed and get more than what they expected."
I want it to be a pub for everyone and a place where everyone can feel welcomed.Grant Fiedler
Mr Bennett said the journey has been a rewarding, but it was time for a new experience.
"It was a new venture for us. We thought we would give it a crack, even though we had never done any work in hospitality before," he said.
"Two weeks in we were running the pub with no experience, but it was a good learning curve. It was a hard start, but we are lucky to have had good staff around us who helped along the way."
Mr Bennett said the highlight of his career has been the people who walked through the doors each day.
"We always got different people coming through from old, retired publicans wanting a yarn and talk about their journey to people running away for a better life and wanting someone to talk to," he said.
Mr Bennett will be taking 12-months off before deciding on his next venture.
"My girlfriend Steffi and I are taking off, travelling around Australia in a caravan. But we're coming back to Horsham," he said.
Grant has a good staff to back him up and if he looks after his staff he will go a long way in the business.Reggie Bennett
"Mum is taking some time out and catching up with family. She has been spending most days at the pub from helping in the bar to cleaning, the office side of the business and any little jobs."
Mr Bennett has "full-confidence" in Mr Fiedler's vision.
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