Historic Robbie Burns Hotel resurrection revealed, grand unveiling planned

It is envisioned the Robbie Burns will be once more be a community gathering place to enjoy music, arts and fabulous food. Photo: Leah Szanto
It is envisioned the Robbie Burns will be once more be a community gathering place to enjoy music, arts and fabulous food. Photo: Leah Szanto

Since late 2015, iconic Wyndham waterhole the Robbie Burns Hotel, has quietly sat closed beneath Mount Darragh on the main road of the small village.

Behind the scenes, a careful resurrection of the historic venue has slowly been taking place and the time is now ripe for it to be revealed to the broader community as a renewed place for gathering.

Six years ago, owner and licensee Katie Pye moved to the Far South Coast of NSW, having returned to the country after living and working from her second home in India.

With a background in clothing design and visual arts, Katie's avid love and passion for architecture formed a vision to reinvigorate the "antiquated" 1800s establishment.

It is envisioned that the Robbie Burns will become a special place of gathering for the community. Photo: DoubleTake Photography

It is envisioned that the Robbie Burns will become a special place of gathering for the community. Photo: DoubleTake Photography

"It was about connecting with the building. I saw it as a big old ship with good strong bones made of precious local hardwood underneath its facade, just needing the right wind to set sail," she said.

"As a project it ticked the box and my love of old buildings and building ignited in me."

While the challenges posed by the dilapidated state of the 150-year-old building and compliance with Bega Valley Shire Council's heritage conditions were substantial, the result of much hard work and financial investment will be revealed on Saturday May 22.

Entering the Robbie Burns, rich, stylish and carefully curated colour welcome you from every direction and there is a sense every piece of furniture and item has been placed with thorough consideration, creating an exotic feast for the eyes and curious minds... with comfort thrown in to boot.

Katie said it had always been her intention to respect and regard the Robbie Burns as an iconic local space.

"The weekend will be centred around the resurrection of the building as a community gathering place where music, creative arts, and fabulous local food will retain the best of the old and inspire the Illumination of the new," she said.

The program for May 22 will commence with town crier Allan Moyse calling in the event, a very special Welcome to Country by local Indigenous Elder Ossie Cruse and a musical collaboration titled Shards of Aphrodite's Broken Mirror.

An enticing line-up of music, poetry and performance will follow, including Far South Coast artists Anactoria, One Gener8ion, Nathan Lygon, Sandy and Joy McCarthy and Joshua McHugh as well as visiting artist Kendra Keller (AKA Lady Longdrop).

Performing artist and poet Kendra Keller will perform at the Robbie Burns Hotel in Wyndham on Saturday, May 22. Photo: supplied.

Performing artist and poet Kendra Keller will perform at the Robbie Burns Hotel in Wyndham on Saturday, May 22. Photo: supplied.

In the evening illumination artist Roger Foley, father of Lumino Kinetics in Australia, will light up the Robbie Burns Hotel in a magical display.

Delicious local food will be available on site from Heaven's Kitchen. Pandora's Picknick boxes will be available at lunchtime and woodfired pizzas will be made on site in the evening. The bar will be open, the coffee machine on, with a selection of delightful cakes and teas ready for your enjoyment.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.robbieburnshotel.com.

Although the event will be an unveiling of the hard work Katie has invested in the hotel, it is not a reopening as such, as she is now seeking publicans to take on the running of the establishment.

"I would like to lease it out to someone who can see that in the whole of the shire, it is unique. It's a place which will be about togetherness, events and good food," Katie said.

"The accommodation is a real drawcard, and there is so much great local food, why not make a song of it?

"It's a destination for sure, we just need to create something exciting which will keep them coming back," she said.

Katie said locally, everyone has had feelings about the old hotel.

"For some it has been an uncertain mystery which has caused them sadness, for others an interesting continual question about what is happening.

"While for others who have patience, a long expectant wait that one day it will be an active place in the village, open for business once again."

Read also:

This story Historic Robbie Burns Hotel resurrection revealed, grand unveiling planned first appeared on Bega District News.