First drinks for Kooringal Hotel

The Kooringal Hotel has changed quite a lot since it first opened in 1967. There were no 3 a.m. closes, beer garden, gambling facilities or children’s playground back then.

The Hotel-Motel was scheduled to open on November 14 but first drinks were not served until a week later due to a strike by brewery workers in Sydney.

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Mr Ron Francis, first manager of the Kooringal Hotel, celebrates the end of the brewery strike [RW17/AI96].
Co-owners, Bill Cosier and John Jackson came up with the idea in 1952 while enjoying a quiet beer at the Wagga Boat Club after a day of water-skiing.

Included in the original layout were 3 bars, a combined lounge-dining room, six motel units, a drive through bottle shop and parking for 310 cars.

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Mrs Francis hard at work in the bottleshop [RW17/ak22]
The motel units and lounge-dining room were air-conditioned and the whole building, with the exception of the sportsman’s bar, was carpeted throughout. Motel tariffs were $6 a single and $10 a double and came complete with television, three way sound system, car washing facilities and shoe shine boxes.

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Some of the 6 motel units attached to the hotel. The original plan was for 25 units – including double and family rooms [RW17/ak22].
Meals for motel guests, as well as snacks and counter lunches for hotel patrons were prepared in the state of the art kitchen.

Weekly dinner dances were held in the combined lounge-dining room, which included a dance floor and space for a four piece orchestra.

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The combined dining room/lounge served as a drinking lounge and a dining room for motel guests. The room was also used for Saturday night dinner dances and other functions [RW17/ak22]
The Windjammer Bar, designed as a mixed lounge, was fitted out in a nautical theme including a yacht’s mast, fishing nets, ship’s wheel, lifebuoy, mariner’s chart, diving helmet and ship’s lantern.

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The ship’s mast and yard in the nautically themed Windjammer Bar [RW17/ak22].
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Harry Smith, a barman at the hotel checks out some of the nautical paraphernalia adorning the walls of the Windjammer Bar [RW17ak22].
One wall of the Sportsman’s Bar was decorated with show-cases containing photographs and jumpers of local football teams, including the Henwood Park Soccer Club and Kooringal Demons J.A.F.C.

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One of the showcases in the Sportsman’s Bar [RW17/ak22].
The Tap Bar was decorated with old wooden beer kegs and displayed photographs of Wagga’s earlier hotels, including the Australian, Pastoral and Commercial.

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Barman Ted Miosge pulls a beer in the Tap Room/Saloon Bar [RW17/ak22].
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The Sportsman’s Bar [RW17/ak22].
10 o’clock closing time was signalled by several clangs on the ship’s bell located in the Windjammer Bar.

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The ship’s bell, which was used to signal last drinks, can be seen above the cash register in the Windjammer Bar [RW17/ak22].
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