By Jessica Howard
A popular Bacchus Marsh watering hole is set to be transformed into a local icon, once more.
Stoney’s Club commenced renovations in early February, with owners planning to bring the hotel back to basics.
“We want to bring a piece of Bacchus Marsh history back to the present and allow the pub to stand out, rather than blend in,” Manager Theo Raravitis said.
“Stoney’s has been around for such a long time, and if the walls could talk, there really would be some amazing stories”.
Stoney’s Club was constructed in 1872 after James Vallence, the first proprietor of the hotel, was granted a beer license.
Vallence first established a beer shop in his house at Maddingley Flat, before his successful publican’s license saw him erect the six-room hotel, made from brick and plaster, and known as Stoney’s Bridge Inn Hotel.
Current renovations will include upgrades to the gaming room, kitchen and bistro; as well as a new children’s area that will extend outside.
Bistro supervisor, Hayley Sayer said a section of the hotel will also be reverted back to the original brick, dating back to the 1870s.
“When we started to talk about the renovations, you had people who had been coming here for 10, 20 and 30-years getting excited and telling their own stories,” she said.
“We went to the historical society and they gave us some fantastic information about the Stone family, who owned the pub for 20-odd years.
“Unfortunately, there have been a few adjustments over the years and a bit of bad workmanship, meaning the bottom section is quite damaged. As a result, we’ll be stripping the top floor back to its original brick and we will re-render the bottom half white”.
The renovations are expected to be completed by August this year.
TAB Manager, Christine said she was looking forward to the first renovations she’d seen in her 16-year career at the hotel.
“I think the only update I’ve seen is new carpet, so I’ve really been waiting for these renovations, she said.
“There’ll be bigger monitors for television and the odds, which I know all the punters are excited for; and I probably spend more time here than at home, so it will be great having a nice modern venue, with a bit of the history still left, too”.
Robin Dyson, who lived in Coimadai for 25-years and Bacchus Marsh for the last 38, said he often called in to the pub to meet friends.
“It used to be a very small place, with the bar located where the gaming room is now,” he said.
“I used to always call in when I could, but now I’ve moved to Maddingley so I come here nearly every day, especially when the wife’s cooking mushrooms”.
Stoney’s Club will hold an official opening and family day on Sunday August 12.
For more information, contact 5367 2031.