Historic Castlemaine hotel on market

THE Railway Hotel in Castlemaine is up for sale. 

The leasehold for the business is available after Peter and Nola Brown, who have run the pub for the last six years, decided to retire. 

The couple moved from Melbourne to take on the venture and Mr Brown said it had been enjoyable. 

“We came from Melbourne and just saw the pub and fell in love with it,” he said. 

“We thought we’d have a go. 

“We’ve been here six-and-a-half years and thought now was a good time to think about leaving.” 

Mr Brown said he didn’t want to leave but age and health issues had convinced him to sell up. 

“We’ve done fairly well here,” he said. 

“It’s a family hotel with the traditional bar and an old country feel. 

“The food is probably a little bit above regular pub food, part way to fine dining. 

“I think it’s been successful due to the quality of the food and the relaxed atmosphere.”

The hotel has won three Golden Plate awards. 

Mr Brown said if he had his time over, he would have taken on the business at a younger age. 

“I was approaching 60 when I took it on... if you’re 50 you’ve got a lot more energy,” he said. 

“There’s potential in the business for someone younger and more enthusiastic to take it on. 

“We open from 3pm so there’s room to expand the hours and improve it quite a lot.”

Mr Brown said the couple worked seven days a week when they started the business and scaled back to five days a week after a year. 

“I have indeed enjoyed it,” he said. 

“Coming from Melbourne, we were originally going to go back but we’ve bought a house here and we’re going to stay.”

Bill Maltby from Stuart Real Estate is selling the business and said there was about 16 years left on the leasehold. 

“It’s probably one of the best local hotels in Castlemaine,” he said. 

“Anybody who was to purchase and operate it would certainly be successful.”

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