FREE BEER: Let Roma pubs shout you a free beer
It’s a day most Aussies would remember vividly, the day their local pub had to close their doors for an undetermined amount of time.
March 23 has a whole new meaning for Queensland publicans who had to turn off their taps and close their doors overnight.
A year on, many pubs and clubs are still trying to recover from the dreadful year of 2020, but beverage company Lion have injected half a million dollars through their initiative National Local Day.
Through their $15 prepaid Digital Mastercards available for people to spend, Lion hope to encourage the public to head down to their favourite pub and help them recover from the challenging year.
Roma publican Ben Cannon remembers hearing the terrible news a year ago today.
“I was driving the courtesy bus and my phone kept lighting up and I looked at when I got back to the pub and my wife text me saying the prime minister said all the pubs had to close their doors,” Mr Cannon said.
“I couldn’t believe it … I had to go explain it to staff that evening and the following day that we were no longer able to trade.
“We had to let go loyal staff members overnight then resort to JobKeeper and Jobseeker.”
For the most part, Mr Cannon believes Roma businesses have done relatively well compared to many around the state.
“We just had to adapt,” he said.
“Compared to many other businesses on the coast, we were only shut for a couple of months … but fortunately we had the support of many locals – they were fantastic in supporting us during lock down, ensuring they bought takeaway meals alcohol.”
Like The Commonwealth Hotel who took the time do renovations, Barry Waldron owner of The Club Hotel Motel said in some ways it was a blessing in disguise to get their new venue up and running.
“We had a total shut down in the bar and we ultimately decided to do a total refurbishment and we just continued to do piece by piece to now the whole hotel has been renovated … then we bought land out the back and the house and we’ve been able to accomplish a lot during that time,” Mr Waldron said.
“And we also were able to showcase our new menu through home deliveries … which a lot of people still rely on now and we now have five chefs who struggle to keep up sometimes, so there has been some positives.”
Alongside his wife Felicity, the couple have created an outdoor area for festivals like Road to Roma or to even hold weddings, a function centre and a house for guests.
“Business is definitely booming and there’s a lot more to see here,” Mr Waldron said.
To redeem your $15 to spend at The Commonwealth Hotel or Whitebull Tavern, download Myy App – tap the National Local Day tile – fill in your details – attach your FREE $15 Prepaid MasterCard to your wallet – head down to the pub to redeem.
The app must be downloaded on Tuesday, March 24.