New publican Marnie Macdonald manages to keep heritage pub in local hands

ABOVE: Marnie Macdonald is the new publican of the Commercial Hotel in Casino. Photo: Susanna Freymark

Susanna Freymark

Buying the Commercial Hotel was a simple decision for Marnie Macdonald and her brother-in-law.

“We saw it was for sale and thought it needed to stay local,” Marnie said.

She wouldn’t reveal what was paid for 1869 pub in the centre of town.

She plans to carry on with former publican Mary Bligh’s vision of good food, good music and a great atmosphere.

Marnie said all 20 pub staff will be kept, as will the dart boards and the pub’s pokie-free policy.

“We will focus on the accommodation upstairs because Casino has potential as a tourist spot,” Marnie said.

The heritage of the iconic pub is something Marnie wants to learn more about.

There are old stables out back that she’s keen to find a use for.

Marnie said she will be a “hands-on” publican and will be on the floor welcoming people.

Her family have lived in Casino for seven years and her three sons and daughter will be helping out at the pub.

As soon as she can, Marnie plans to reopen the front bar that opens out onto Barker St and is thinking of turning it into a bar and cafe.

The bar was closed when covid restrictions came in.

The family run pub will keep its warm, welcoming atmosphere, Marnie said.

When she has time, which is unlikely as publican, Marnie will kick back and enjoy her favourite drink of a craft beer.

Marnie Macdonald at the Commercial Hotel. Photo: Susanna Freymark
One of the town’s oldest pubs is sold to a local
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