Meshing old pub character with modern twist at Maryvale
A HISTORIC country pub in the Southern Downs is undergoing a modern transformation while the century-old character stays intact.
Since its doors opened to customers in early 1913, the Maryvale Crown Hotel has been a central meeting point for residents.
The unique building with original tin-pressed ceilings and impressive western bar has been recently taken over by new owners who are shaking things up in the outback.
Owner Annie Keddy is determined to take the pub in a fresh direction while paying tribute to its heritage character.
By running creative workshops, starting trends and bringing exciting ideas to the town, she is hoping to turn the well-known pub into a "welcoming place for everyone”.
"The vision was always to turn it into something that it wasn't,” Mrs Keddy said.
"I just always had it in my mind that I wanted to do different things and create something special. There are certain elements that pay homage to the bush atmosphere but at the same time the unexpected here is appealing.”
One of the ways Mrs Keddy is branching out of the outback pub norm is by running special events for women. "When we first took over the pub, it wasn't long before I organised my first high tea,” Mrs Keddy said.
"One by one the local ladies came to check it out and they were thrilled. There was just never that option available for them out here.”
It has been more than a year since MrsKeddy and her husband Michael packed up their lives on Stradbroke Island and bought the Maryvale pub.
Keen to create a unique atmosphere and do things a little differently, Mrs Keddy's vision was to turn the place into something it wasn't.
"I want people to be able to get access to unique things at my country pub,” she said.
"Of course it's important to keep the bones of the public bar and uphold the character of the building because she's a beautiful old girl.
"For the locals, I still wanted to maintain that charm but also bring in an unexpected groove as well - a hidden gem that you wouldn't expect in a country pub in Maryvale.”
To create a comfortable space, Mrs Keddy has renovated a room with vintage tables, mirrors, decorative pillows, cosy lounge chairs, books and a fireplace.
"I have a whole spreadsheet of ideas for this place, including getting a celebrity chef to the country to take a cooking demonstration down the track,” Mrs Keddy said.