There will be two familiar faces behind the bar when Picton’s much-loved George IV Inn re-opens its doors in a few months time.
Former George publicans Brett and Peta Cohen will return “home” to keep the beers flowing.
“There are very few hotels that you walk into and call it home and the George is one of those pubs,” Mr Cohen said.
The hotel’s owners Ross Robinson and Adam Cryer asked the licencees to come back to run the pub day-to-day.
The pub, which was significantly damaged during a storm last year, was sold in May by its former owner Patrick Moloney following the insurance company Assetinsure’s refusal to cover the damage claim.
Mr Moloney kept the couple on for six months after the pub shut its doors. Since then the Cohen’s have been working at a hotel in Western Australia.
Mr Cohen told the Advertiser on Friday said it had been “heartbreaking” to leave Picton.
“It was with a heavy heart that we left Picton and the George but we had to look after our family and find work,” Mr Cohen said.
“We have been working in Western Australia for the past couple of months but our heart has always been with the George.
“We felt like we had unfinished business at the pub even though we only worked there for 18 months.
“We had a great team of staff, we had a good vision for the pub and we really liked the locals.
“We always wanted to come back to the George and now we have been given the opportunity.”
Mr Robinson is thrilled the Cohen’s agreed to come back to the pub.
“The couple will work with us to get the pub back up and running again,” he said.
Mr Robinson said he and his business partner Adam Cryer settled the sale early on Friday, June 30 and picked up the keys on Monday, July 3.
“We are now in talks with architects and Wollondilly Council and the renovation work will begin in the next couple of weeks,” he said.
The 30-year pub veteran said he and his wife were keen to “pick up where we left off”.
“We will work closely with Ross and Adam during the renovation,” he said.
“I think our input will be valuable from a practical and logistical point of view because we know how the pub works and the flow of traffic.
“There are not too many times that people get the opportunity to restart and build a new pub.”
Mr Cohen said he would be running the pub in the “same vein”.
“The most important thing is getting the pub open and then we know Ross and Adam have big plans for the venue which will be carried out in stages,” he said. “We might see some different types of beers introduced but that is still to be discussed.”
The couple are excited to live back in Picton and their kids are keen to go back to school.