Premier owners to discuss pub’s future

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Plans to restore the historic Premier Hotel could take a new direction, with the building’s owners set to meet to weigh up their options.

The 126-year-old hotel has remained dormant since it was gutted by an alleged arson attack in May, apart from demolition works of the pub’s back bar, where the fire started.

Building co-owner Barry Panizza said a meeting with other partners tomorrow night would give a better understanding of the direction of the rebuild, with the scope of the works required to restore the hotel now clearer.

“It’s really to review what we have been given,” Mr Panizza said.

“Do we rebuild exactly how it was, or do we change it around and make it a bit more user-friendly?

“I’m only one (shareholder) but do we rebuild the back bar or maybe upgrade the accommodation?”

Mr Panizza, who has owned the hotel with a group of local shareholders since 2000, said the building was “certainly repairable” and various restoration options were to be put on the table.

He said the ceilings in the front bar and saloon bar had been removed because of smoke damage.

“We have cleaned it up with the demolition of the old winter court, or back bar as you call it — that was the most damaged part,” he said.

“We are a little further down the track now, and we finally have a scope of the works needed.”

The five men accused of the alleged arson attack on the hotel remain behind bars and are yet to plead to the charges.

They are due to reappear in court in Perth next month.

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