Long term locals are ready to be publicans of historic pub

ABOVE: Mel Bowman and Ben Effer are going to run the pub in Coraki.

Susanna Freymark

It’s all Mel’s fault, Ben Effer said.

He was grinning. His wife Mel Bowman agreed with him.

She was the one pushing for the pub.

Ben and Mel completed their RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) a few days ago in preparation to become the new publicans of Coraki Hotel.

Mel is thrilled.

“My family comes from here. They owned a dairy farm on Woodburn-Coraki Rd,” she said.

“My grandmother was born on Spring Hill and Norma Thomas is my great aunt. My mum died at Coraki Hospital when I was three.”

Mel went to Kindergarten at St Josephs in Coraki.

Ben grew up at The Channon.

Two months before the floods hit in February last year, Ben and Mel moved from Modanville to Bora Ridge because they wanted more space for the kids.

They have six children and are like the Brady Bunch, Ben said.

They also have seven Scottish Highland cows.

They’re the cute ones that eat out of your hand, Mel said.

Mel works at a solicitor’s office and Ben is a telecommunications technician.

They’ll keep their jobs and run the pub.

“I love my job,” Mel said.

She has plenty of energy and is keen to upgrade the restaurant at the pub.

“We want live music,” she said.

“It’s got a good vibe this pub, it’s over 100 years old.”

Ben and Mel said they work well together.

“We’ve renovated quite a few homes,” Ben said.

Most importantly for their new adventure, they know how to pull a beer.

This weekend Mel and Ben are offering a Big Brekky & Champagne Special for $25 on July 8 & 9 at 8–10am. Bookings are recommended. Call 6683 1740.

The jam session tradition at the pub will continue on Sunday, July 9 from 2pm.

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