by Erica Murree
THE new Grand Hotel owners' aim is to bring the pub back to its former glory and the old atmosphere it used to have.
Hervey Bay couple Danny and Kerry Nevins officially took over Biggenden's Grand Hotel on April 24
"What an eye opener it was," Kerry said
"We were hit with reunions for Biggenden State School and Commercial Minerals.
"What a weekend, it was huge.
"We had to get the butcher to open up twice during the long weekend."
Danny piped in saying they may have been eaten out of house and home but they didn't run out of beer.
"Best move we've ever made," he said.
"The community have been very welcoming.
"It feels as though we have been here for years."
Kerry has been involved in hospitality all her life having owned restaurants in Hervey Bay, takeaways and catering contracts with Ingham's Chickens in Victoria.
Danny has worked in pubs in Queensland and Northern Territory as well as having careers as a truck driver, sales rep and coal miner.
He is a hot rod and custom car enthusiast and owns a 1929 Ford Roadstar.
Danny is hoping to take this passion and turn it into an event for the town.
The couple have kept all the previous staff and added at least one.
Kerry's son, Alex is the new face behind the bar.
She said after leaving school they introduced him to pub life.
Danny said he pours a mean beer.
The couple are in the process of revamping the beer garden.
They have installed market umbrellas to create shade, along with signage and potted palms.
The fire pit has been removed and will be replaced by gas heaters.
The Nevins will undertake basic upgrades as necessary and try and brighten the place up.
Where possible they are using local suppliers and tradespeople.
A new sign is being erected at the front of the hotel along with new awnings.
Revamping the upstairs accommodation is presently under way.
Other plans in the pipeline include bringing back Friday night buffets. This will be alternated with Friday and Saturday night specials.
Home made soup will be added to the menu for winter.
There will be themed activity nights, entertainment of a Saturday night and maybe Sunday barbecue lunches.
There are big plans for State of Origin night with lucky door prizes, bar snacks and lots of decorations. Patrons are encouraged to wear their favourite team colours.
The Nevins said they look forward to restoring the pub to its former glory.
"We want to hear laughter emanating through the pub," Kerry said.