FOR SALE: Will Cordwell is ready to hand over the keys to the Ascot Hotel.
FOR SALE: Will Cordwell is ready to hand over the keys to the Ascot Hotel. Sharyn Oneill

Will Cordwell calls last drinks at iconic Ascot Hotel

THERE'S always a laugh at Rockhampton's Ascot Hotel if you're looking for one.

Sharing a joke or two with his customers is one of the things Will Cordwell will miss the most when he eventually hands over the keys to the iconic Rockhampton venue.

After almost 30 years in the business, Mr Cordwell has put the Ascot on the market and hopes to head into retirement.

At the moment he's taking expressions of interest and didn't divulge the amount he's hoping to sell the hotel for.

"The hotel has been on the market for a little while," Mr Cordwell said.

"I bought the hotel in 1986 so it's 30 years next year. I think it's time for me to step aside and take things a little easier.

"I want to spend time and have a genuine break with my wife."

But Mr Cordwell said he would still be a strong voice in the Central Queensland community.

"I think anyone who has been in business and retires continually finds other things to do, whether it be in business or for the community," he said.

"I came to Rockhampton 29 years ago and loved it. I made it my home and I don't ever want to leave. I'd like to have a bit of input into different community matters.

"I'm certainly a big supporter of the CQ NRL Bid; it would be great for the area.

"I'm also a big advocate of Beef Australia. This is the first year I haven't had the restaurant out there. I'm not as young as I used to be and it just got too big for me, but I really encourage other restaurants to get involved.

"Beef is very important for the area and I think we can continually improve it as a community into the future."

As for the future of the Ascot, Mr Cordwell hoped whoever bought it had the same forward-thinking vision for north Rockhampton as he did.

"Plans for development here have council approval and I've just requested a two-year extension on those plans," he said.

"I certainly hope whoever buys the place takes advantage of that because north Rockhampton and Musgrave St need development.

"North Rockhampton can grow and expand with the city."

ASCOT HOTEL HISTORY

Purchased by Will Cordwell in 1986

Featured in Beef Australia in 2006, 2009 and 2012

Introduced stonegrill to Central Queensland



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