The heart of live music in Lismore has stopped beating … for now.
The devastated publicans of the New Tattersalls Hotel in Keen Street, Rod and Kim Bradbury, yesterday announced the sudden closure of their business via a Facebook post, citing last year’s flood, insurance problems and landlord issues.
‘What a bastard of a day….it is with broken hearts that we have had to close our doors today,’ they wrote.
‘After fighting the battle that was Debbie, we have been defeated by our insurance company and unforgiving landlords.
‘This was the hardest thing we have ever had to do. Our hearts go out to our staff for they are truly amazing.
‘To our patrons, whom are like family, we are sorry. We have tried our damndest to make it work but just can’t. Watch this space though, we could be back with a vengeance….’
Following the March floods, the publicans and staff battled to get the hotel back running, and it was indeed the first hotel in the CBD to be be back serving meals and providing entertainment.
When a fundraiser was organised to help them get back on their feet following the flood, an amazing 50 acts offered to play. A one night event turned into a three day event, showing the love that the music industry and its patrons have for the pub.
But a fundraiser was never going to cover the high cost of keeping the pub running, and the publicans were banking on their insurance company to do the right thing and pay their $750,000 claim, or at least a good portion of it.
They explored options to sell the lease but each offer was rejected by the property owners.
So despite paying around $37,000 in insurance cover each year, they ran out of options when the insurance company, AssetInsure, declined their claim last week.
And although the publicans’ business model was based around live music and top class meals, Mrs Bradbury said the dozen or so poker machine entitlements had kept the ledger happy prior to the flood.
‘We have lost $180,000 in revenue because we have not had eight poker machines on the floor since the flood,’ she said.
The hotel employs about 14 staff and has 12 people living in accomodation upstairs.
It’s understood the residents upstairs were last night given two weeks notice to vacate the premises.
Now it seems legal action is the way forward, and the publicans are meeting with their solicitors today to discuss the option of taking the insurance company to court.
As for the business, all is not lost, and it is understood that the Bradburys have already had initial conversations with a nearby hotel owner to move the business into another premises.
More to come