The popular Earl of Spencer Inn could reopen by the end of the year after the pub’s new operators applied for a liquor licence to ensure it becomes a watering hole once more.
Earl of Spencer owner Kim Gascoigne confirmed yesterday he had leased the site to a young Albany couple who planned to reopen the venue as soon as they received the necessary approvals from the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor.
Mr Gascoigne, whose family have owned the building since 1986, said “a lot” of money was being spent on renovations.
He said he had high hopes for the new operators’ plans for the English-style pub. The couple had indicated they wanted to make some changes but it would continue to operate under its current name.
“I think people in Albany are going to be very pleased with the new lessees,” Mr Gascoigne said.
“I know they want to put a lot of vibe into the place, which is very important.
“He’s a chef and I believe they will absolutely love the Earl. I hope it is going to be as it was before – as a nice venue for upmarket entertainment for the people of Albany.”
The Earl’s doors were closed indefinitely in August after negotiations over its lease broke down.
There was speculation the venue might be lost to the community as a pub and restaurant after the business was put up for sale.
Mr Gascoigne said the Earl wasn’t meant to have closed down at all.
He had hoped for a clean handover to a new lessee, but several factors had led to the previous tenant dropping out early.
He hoped the venue would be returned to the standard it reached many years ago. Former architect Andrew Markovs, who was involved in the building’s restoration and the push to ensure it kept operating as a pub, said he was keenly awaiting the reopening with great expectation.
“I’m very excited to hear it’s reopening,” he said.
“I think the community will support it as long as the standards are kept up, particularly if they are prepared to have some live music or entertainment.”
The WA jobs market is continuing to weaken, with signs the State’s construction sector is facing tougher days ahead.