Frances Hotel opens again in November

Opening soon: Frances Hotel's new owner Lauren Thompson is excited to be opening the pub in November.
Opening soon: Frances Hotel's new owner Lauren Thompson is excited to be opening the pub in November.

New Owner of the Frances Hotel in Lauren Thompson has decided to buy the hotel and re-open it November for reasons close to her heart.

Ms Thompson told the Herald that they are hoping to throw open the doors once they have completed renovations. It will be a new beginning after a time wracked with sorrow.

She emphasised that her family had motivated her to buy the hotel, mentioning that losing her son in 2016 has been a driving force for her moving forward.

"When I saw the opportunity for this I thought it was a great way to show my children that regardless of what we have gone through, we have to keep moving forward," she said.

Ms Thompson explained how she has always loved working in hospitality, particularly in pubs as she has worked behind bars previously in Ballarat and Bordertown.

"It was a 'given' for me to take this step on my own and move forward so that is the main reason why I did it," she said. "It will be a good old-fashioned country pub with friendly hospitality."

The team is renovating the kitchen with ambitions to install new floors and to start painting soon.

The hotel has already accommodated visitors in its apartments, hosting people in its three family rooms and its eight budget-priced rooms.

The hotel will look to organise a courtesy bus soon with hopes of bringing people into town to the pub from surrounding areas such as Naracoorte and Bordertown.

Ms Thompson hopes other local businesses will receive a boost with the pub opening again.

"Because we are so far out, if people want have a drink and a good night, they can do that and they will not have to worry about driving home," she said.

The new owner mentioned that the hotel has already been taking bookings at Christmas, adding how she and the rest of her staff will be celebrating the opening of the hotel in November.

"It looks like the town is being fully supportive of us," she said. "We will have an opening-day event, but we are not sure when that will be ... we will aim to have entertainment on the day, but we will also need to work around COVID-19 social-distancing."

The pub will serve lunch and dinner daily. Ms Thompson explained what people can expect with the meals.

"It will be old-fashioned home-style cooking," she said. "We will be looking for some juniors to start waitressing and as kitchen hands - roles like that."

An outdoor setting is planned in which people can sit outside on the grassed area, have a drink, enjoy the food on offer, and listen to live entertainment this summer.

There is also a family area in the bistro where children will be able to stay entertained with television and toys.

The pub is also looking to organise TAB and Foxtel in its front bar. In terms of entertainment, the front bar will have a pool table, darts, arcade games and a jukebox with indoor and outdoor speakers.

Ms Thompson stressed that she is keen to hold darts and pool competitions with surrounding pubs in the future and possibly hold a community Friday night draw with a range of prizes to win.

"It is going to be a family-oriented place," she said. "The community is excited. People have been knocking on the door to introduce themselves while we have been working - they are so glad to hear that we will open again."