Fun and games begin October
NOT long to go now, and Marty Phillips couldn't be happier.
The Coffs Hotel licensee announced yesterday his front bar, commonly known as the Shamrock Bar, and the gaming room, would re-open in time for the October long weekend.
That's three weeks away, and it can't come quickly enough for management, staff and patrons in the wake of a fire which devastated the pub on July 15.
Detectives have now finished their investigations into the blaze, which they do not consider to be suspicious.
The matter is now before the coroner, but police still do not know what caused the fire, which appeared to start in the office. Mr Phillips said video footage retrieved from the ruins pointed to an electrical fault.
The back section of the pub, as well as the refurbished beer garden ? which had been earmarked for renovations long before the fire ? are due for completion before Christmas, while the upstairs accommodation area will be ready in the New Year.
Mr Phillips plans to run a competition where drinkers can bid for the first pint to be poured from the front bar to coincide with the re-opening. Appropriately, the proceeds will aid the Coffs Harbour Fire Station.
"We haven't yet achieved our ultimate goal of re-opening fully, but at least we'll be trading and having our customers back," Mr Phillips said.
"We're looking forward to seeing everyone back again. We're sorry we've been closed for all this time, but there's nothing we could do about it. We'll be back bigger and better. It will be like brand new."