LOCALS and tourists turned out in droves for the long-awaited reopening of the Riverview Hotel at Tarwin Lower.

Co-owners, Dean and Robyn Ellen, and Dene and Julie Shiels, were delighted by the response to the first days of trading in the renovated historic pub.

More than 100 years old, the Riverview closed its doors as COVID-19 hit early last year.

The two couples, both with strong ties to the community, bought the business in mid-December and quickly set to work, opening up the interior and refreshing it with paint.

The historic open fireplace has been retained and spruced up for the winter days ahead.

But it was a hot Australia Day long weekend when they opened the doors.

The deck was popular with cold drinks the order of the day. Inside the bistro/bar/lounge offered a break from the heat and sun outside.

A feature is the giant mural painted by local artist, Colin Suggett.

Originally tucked away on a sliding door that separated the bar from the rest of the pub, the mural has been relocated to a wall in the dining room.

Colin retouched the painting to restore it to its original glory, and it’s sure to be a talking point as diners check out the local points of interest depicted.

Bookings are essential for meals and experienced cook, Andrew Davidson, is working to put his own spin on good pub fare, with a focus on using local produce.