Historic pub to close doors

Elliot and Henrieke Hilse outside their beloved pub.
Elliot and Henrieke Hilse outside their beloved pub. Sharyn Oneill

AFTER 123 years in the business, a North Rockhampton pub will soon call “last drinks” for the final time.

The iconic Anchor Hotel is one of many small pubs in Rocky that has been forced to close from escalating stock prices and reduced clientele.

Owners Elliot and Henrieke Hilse said they had enjoyed their six years running the pub, but would pull up anchor and close the portholes on June 1.

“Not having pokies has made it hard, and that's something we never wanted,” Henrieke said.

“But we've also learnt a lot.

“We're the only pub with $1 pool and a free jukebox, and we've had that since our first day.”

First known in the late-1800s as The Rose And The Shamrock, for the local English and Irish crowd, it was later named after the two ferries that docked nearby.

The couple said they would be leaving with a boatload of memories.

“I knew from the beginning it was what Elliot wanted to do,” she said.

But with Henrieke pregnant with their third child and Elliot working at Australian Air Express and running the struggling pub, it became too much.

“We don't have the motivation any more,” Elliot said.

“The romance of it – the dream has gone.

“I'd been slowly buying houses, and I had bought four. So, in Monopoly when you buy four houses you buy a hotel,” he joked.

And Henrieke and Elliot said they would never forget their patrons.

“We've had really good, faithful locals,” Elliot said.

Henrieke said she would always be grateful to the locals who taught her Aussie slang.

They will hold a free barbecue on May 29 with live music. “Hopefully we'll give it a good send-off,” Elliot said.

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