THE new owners of the Golden Square Hotel in Bendigo have been busy implementing changes since taking the reins in July last year.
Owners Jacqui and Peter Griffin have given the place a fresh lick of paint, introduced a range of unique craft beers and ciders on tap and re-branded logos and signs to better reflect the pub's history, which dates back to the 1800s.
Mr Griffin said he saw great potential in the hotel.
"Without experience in running hotels as part of the Tombstone Hotel Group, we were pleased to get the opportunity to bring some unique aspects to the venue," he said.
Mr and Mrs Griffin have also upgraded their sports bar and TAB facility, revamped the beer garden and lounge area and hired award-winning chef Brunno Rocha Melo.
Mr Melo was previously working at the Railway Hotel in Castlemaine, which was awarded the 2013 Golden Plate Award for the 'Best value for money'.
The Railway Hotel is the sister hotel of Golden Square Hotel Bendigo, both of which are part of the Tombstone Hotel Group.
Mr Melo started working at the Golden Square Hotel Bendigo in September and Mr Griffin said in that time Mr Melo had made "clever" changes to the hotel's menu.
"The menu is quite broad and it caters for all different customer groups," Mr Griffin said.
"Brunno is very active - he goes to the suppliers to the extent of catching his supply from the local trout farm.
"It's all about the people: the chef and his team are very motivated."
Mr Melo was born in Brazil and has experience working in top Sydney and Melbourne restaurants.
He said his mother and grandmother taught him to cook at home when he was a child.
"The kitchen in Brazil is the most important room in the house, where all the major decisions are made and family and friends gather," Mr Melo said.
Mr Griffin said the new menu and new look had been well received by customers.
"Customers are looking for something different and we are trying to provide that," he said.