Royal Hotel in happy new hands

New Royal Hotel owner Tim Fallon, licensee Greg Kabar and staff member Jane Back.

A love for the Tumut region inspired Tim Fallon to purchase the town’s Iconic Royal Hotel from previous owner Ken McCourt for a price “around the $5million mark.”

“I love the town,” Mr Fallon said.

“We are a local family and we are country people. Our goal is to have a family farm and a successful business nearby.

Mr Fallon is a civil engineer and project manager grew up on a farm in Corowa, and went to boarding school in Sydney before moving to this region.

“My wife is from Coonamble. We are not really city slickers, and Tumut has a village feel you don’t get in the city,” he said.

Mr Fallon believes that rural and regional Australia will go through a boom time in the future as people gravitate to the country away from the cities.

He doesn’t see buying the Royal as a gamble.

“People might say buying a pub is expensive but we don’t think so,” he said.

“It’s a lifestyle choice and a good investment if you do it properly.

“If you make a great hotel the heart of the community then everyone wins, everyone is happy.”

He is a fan of the Royal, with its layout one of the reasons.

“The reason the Royal is good is that it has discreet areas where people feel comfortable,” he said.

“The layout and beautiful façade made it attractive.”

He plans to make it more so.

“It needs a bit of love and we want to rejuvenate it and make it more attractive for families, with a kids play area,” 

He is targeting Sunday as a day he wants families to come and enjoy the Royal.

“Sundays seem really quiet here,” he said. 

 “I’ve asked people where they go on Sundays and they often say Wagga.”

He said he wants to renovate the beer garden so people feel more comfortable sitting out there in summer.

Greg Kabar will stay on as licensee, another thing Mr Fallon is happy about.

“Greg’s been awesome,” he said.

“We are really lucky to have him as he is an intrinsic part of the community and actually really cares. He has built a great culture in the pub.”

Mr Kabar said he was happy to continue his 20-year association with the Royal Hotel, through which Tumut has become part of the family.

Mr Fallon is seeing the purchase as a permanent thing, with no intention to move on.

“We’ll never sell it,” he said.

“We are not traders; it’s a full-term thing. It is a magnificent building in the middle of the street; a landmark in the centre of town.”