An iconic pub in Sydney’s inner west is the latest victim of the country’s relentless rental and cost of living crises, after its owners announced its closure following 142 years of operation.
The legendary Town and Country Hotel in St Peters – which was established in 1881 and has “stood the test of time in an evolving suburb” – has tragically shut its doors, despite overcoming years of challenges.
In a statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page, its owners “with great sadness” revealed they’d had to cease trading after the heritage building was “locked suddenly and abruptly”.
“To our loyal customers who have become friends … We’ve made many attempts to work harmoniously and reasonably with our landlord on building repairs, continuous complaints from neighbours and also our rent, resulting in an unsuccessful mediation,” the post read.
“We are devastated at this outcome and we’d like to extend our thanks to you for sticking by us for the last six years. We’ve overcome many challenges including license issues, WestConnex roadworks, our cellar flooding and of course, Covid.
“We worked our way through it all and we would’ve loved to continue to bring life to the Inner West, however we are now unable to do so.”
The owners wrapped up their statements by saying they’d had “the time of (their) lives”, while enjoying several live music events, schnitzels, pies and beers.
“We hope you have enjoyed one or many of these moments at the TCH during this time,” the post concluded.
“As we sign off and move into the future, once again we extend our thanks and love to all.”
The Town and Country hotel was made famous in the 1980s after Australian singer-songwriter Slim Dusty declared the pub as his “local” in his hit song ‘Duncan’.
“We drink at the Town and Country. Where the atmosphere is great. I love to have a beer with Duncan, ’Cause Duncan’s me mate,” the lyrics in classic country song say.
The tune quickly soared to number one, before remaining on the charts for at least 23 weeks from December 1, 1980, according to the Australian Music Database.
The hotel also made it into the song’s music video, which has become a common talking point among locals and patrons of the pub, the Town and Country hotel website stated.
News of the pub’s closure left locals shattered, with dozens taking to Facebook with well wishes in a bid to support the hotel’s owners.
“So sad about this. You have all done a wonderful job and were very lovely to talk to when I came to eat lunch,” one loyal patron said.
“The T & C has been open for years and hopefully, somehow will continue. I hope you will all find other employment soon. Bloody cruel.”
“Thank you for supporting live music, providing a fantastic venue for us, and just ‘being’ the T and C over the years,” a former performer at the pub said.
“The memory of your pub will be forever embedded in our memories. Best of luck for whatever the future holds for you. You were ‘simply the best’.”
A third added: “Everyone knows how much work you’ve both put into the TCH. Amazing achievement to survive all those setbacks and create a thriving inner west pub. Something to be proud of when the dust settles.”
Meanwhile one devastated patron called on the local council to intervene in a bid to repair the building so the pub could reopen.
“How can this happen? Surely the Inner West Council can do something here?” they said.
News.com.au has contacted the Inner West Council for comment.