Change for the better at The Farmers Arms

NEW MANAGERS: Helen ‘Chub’ Dascombe and Ryan Prince are keen to make The Farmers Arms the best it can be.
NEW MANAGERS: Helen ‘Chub’ Dascombe and Ryan Prince are keen to make The Farmers Arms the best it can be. Naomi J Matthews

FOR Ryan Prince and Helen 'Chub' Dascombe, the new managers of The Farmers Arms in Cabarlah, taking on the local tavern has been a steep learning curve.

Since they started on July 1, Mr Prince and Ms Dascombe have set about rearranging and changing certain elements of the venue, while still keeping the historic feel and charm of the buildings.

The Farmers Arms has a long and colourful history being both Queensland's oldest surviving hotel (first licensed in 1863), and once a part of the local jail.

For Mr Prince and Ms Dascombe, the two old cells located out the back were a great business opportunity, and they set about clearing them out and converting them into partially furnished rooms which passing travellers or truck drivers can use as overnight accommodation.

They also upgraded the back beer garden, making it a great place to enjoy a sunset or early evening pint or two.

Inside, Mr Prince worked on improving the pool and gaming area to create a family-friendly atmosphere, while Ms Dascombe revised the menu to appeal to those who enjoy good quality, value for money pub food.

From pin-ball machines, to laser lights and a fog machine, to new dart boards, the gaming room of The Farmers Arms is a hit with locals.

For Mr Prince, the new dart boards were a must, with the tavern having a strong history of darts play.

"There is a plaque out the front explaining that the first international darts match shown via satellite was held on these premises on August 3, 1979," Mr Prince said.

"People have been playing darts here ever since and there are regular darts competitions, which we intend to keep going."

The darts competitions will be held in conjunction with weekly trivia nights and monthly jazz nights which Mr Prince also introduced.

In the dining area, the menu is making a big impression with its range of freshly made meals ranging from seafood delights, to options from the grill and dishes from the hen house.

All meals include access to the hot vegetable and cold salad buffets, which are made and stocked fresh daily for the lunch and dinner sessions.

As well as highlighting the structural beauty of the dining room, which includes two open fire places that are original to the property, Mr Prince has also introduced a few modern features, including a new projector screen, which is currently used for trivia and movie nights and can be hired and used for functions.

These upgrades and innovations have all been completed with the hope of making The Farmers Arms the best it can be.

While they are happy with the changes, Mr Prince and Ms Dascombe have even bigger and better plans in store for this local, community icon.

Topics:  small business

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