Times are tough at The Pub With No Beer at Taylors Arm.
Times are tough at The Pub With No Beer at Taylors Arm. Frank Redward

Pub with no patrons in need

THE hotel immortalised by Slim Dusty is in danger of becoming the pub with no patrons.

Historic Taylors Arm drinking hole The Pub With No Beer has suffered financial setbacks due to floods, dwindling patronage and mounting bills.

Publicans Bill and Jenny Sharkey have gone public saying they're concerned the beer may stop flowing after 108 years, unless Slim Dusty lovers, Coffs Coast locals and travellers help to make the hotel profitable.

“We'd get shot if we tried to close the pub doors,” Bill said.

The couple took over the Taylors Arm Rd hotel, 27km west of Macksville, three-and-a-half years ago.

Putting it frankly, Bill says the pub has run at a loss for the past two years and their determination to keep the doors open has even seen them sell their home in Macksville.

“We just had to sell the house as we didn't have any cash flow and our beer supply was cut off because we couldn't pay the bills,” Mrs Sharkey said.

“The Macksville RSL (Ex-Services) has helped us to order our kegs and last month was quite a good month, we had three functions, and good turn-outs to the live band days on Sundays has kept us afloat,” she said.

Fearing the harsh reality, the Sharkeys have turned to the media to draw more visitors and locals to The Pub With No Beer.

This week they're booked in for numerous national radio interviews to get the message out to Slim's fans.

A saving grace may be the opening of The Slim Dusty Centre in Kempsey next year.

“The Pub With No Beer is all part of the story and I hope more people will visit,” Slim's daughter Anne Kirkpatrick said.

The folklore of A Pub With No Beer dates back to 1943 when farmer Dan Sheahan went to Ingham's Day Dawn Hotel only to find American soldiers had drunk the pub dry of beer. So with a wine in hand, he is said to have penned the iconic poem.

It was then Gordon Parsons who put the lyrics to music, adapting it to his local at Taylors Arm before Slim Dusty recorded the chart-topping sensation in 1957.

With national print exposure the hotel has received calls from concerned patrons and even Essential Energy, which is aiming to help reduce the hotel's power bill.

The Pub With No Beer can be booked for functions by phoning 6564 2100.

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