A couple has left the rat race behind to return home to pursue their dream of running a pub.
Tim and Cass Smith are the new owners of the Monkey Bar in Dubbo’s CBD.
It’s a big change of lifestyle after years of working in the construction industry and being based at Sydney.
With the experience of working 12- to 16-hour days in a competitive sector the couple is now looking forward to the new challenge.
The bar coming on the market was an opportunity.
“We were planning to do it anyway, so we thought we’d be starting from scratch, so it was more like a five, 10-year plan,” Mr Smith said.
“Then when we saw this place come up for sale we jumped on it and thought if we get it, it’s meant to be.”
The new owners have started a “slow refurb” of the premises that will keep its name but undergo a “rebrand”.
They were doing a few “big ticket items” straight away like refurbishing the bar and installing a crowd DJ system ahead of starting to trade next Tuesday.
“Then slowly do it up, redo the interior, open it up a bit,” Mr Smith said.
The couple has also lined up local food suppliers.
“Sourcing cheese from Mudgee and Mick and Paul’s for the fruit and veg,” Mr Smith said.
“We’re trying to keep it as local as possible, that’s what we like, that’s what we’ve come to expect from the places we go to so we want to bring that to the place we have.”
Some things would stay.
“The Monkey Bar is really well known for its burgers, so we’re going to keep that, 100 per cent, and play on that strength,” Mr Smith said.
But a big focus would be craft beer and cocktails.
“We’re trying to bring something different to Dubbo,” Mr Smith said.
“There is a couple of places that do craft beer and stuff like that, but we’re trying to make it a place to come and chill out with mates and spend a little bit of time.”
The husband-and-wife duo went to St John’s College and said it was nice to be home with family.
“Most of our friends are still here,” Mr Smith said.
“Their dreams have come true - someone they know has bought a pub.”