TAKING SHAPE: Doug Greensill standing where the start of the new Kandanga pub will stand.
TAKING SHAPE: Doug Greensill standing where the start of the new Kandanga pub will stand. Renee Albrecht

The Kandanga Hotel comes back from the ashes

WHEN an early morning fire burned the iconic Kandanga Hotel to the ground in mid-December last year, the community rallied around the Greensill family, who vowed to keep on trading.

Now, nearly a year later, the shape of the new Kandanga Pub is slowly coming into view.

"People had lost their meeting place when the pub went up,” says co-owner Doug Greensill.

"It's good to see this all coming together, to see a bit of movement that's for sure.”

Rick Peterson's photo of the Kandanga Pub after the fire which destroyed the historic landmark.
Rick Peterson's photo of the Kandanga Pub after the fire which destroyed the historic landmark.

Operating out of a shed next to the lot where the old building stood, the temporary Kandanga Hotel provides an excellent view of the construction site below.

With the foundations being poured on Tuesday, block work has also started.

Hoping for a June reopening, the new Kandanga Hotel will be roughly the same size and shape as the century-old timber original, with a few modern adjustments.

"Well for one thing we'll have an internal kitchen,” Doug said, noting the kitchen was where the original fire ignited.

"The dining will take up where the veranda used to wrap around the building too.”

Construction has been coming along smoothly, with builders on site praising the work of the Gympie Regional Council's plumbing and development division.

Walking through the site, Doug couldn't stress the importance of keeping open what has really become a touchstone of the local community.

"We could've just taken the insurance money and sat here waiting for it to be rebuilt,” he says.

"But it's too important to the people here, they've given so much back, it's as much for them as it is for us.”

And as for a grand reopening party?

Doug said there'll be a few cold beers when they get back up and running.