It's been a labour of love for the Hills, but now its time for them to move on from Glen Innes' Great Central Hotel.
Julie and Tony are selling up after six years of renovating and revamping the historical hotel, a decision based on Julie's ongoing health needs.
"We went into it with a five year plan in 2015, but in 2016 I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma - blood and bone cancer," Julie explained.
"I worked from the hospital from April 2016, and then it's recently come back. I haven't had the energy this second time around."
They are extremely proud of what they're achieved with the building and the business, turning it from a "pub with a dining room" into a family-friendly restaurant, cafe and bar; from a pillar of "the Aussie pub scene into the European sense of the word".
"We don't have gambling - that was a very conscious decision," they said, saying it had worked well.
While not heritage listed, they were always conscious to maintain the style and feel of the 1800s building, keeping it touch with its cultural and historical roots. For example, they had pressed tin brought in for the café to maintain that era feeling, with the headers over the bar a nod to the Celtic history.
While last year's COVID shut-down was hard, they're finding the recent shutdowns worse.
"We traded pretty strongly, all things considered. We did the full takeaway model when the full shut down was happening, and we had strong local support," Tony explained.
"These last four weeks with the current restrictions is worse than anything last year - we don't have the travelling trade, but the local trade has also gone down - we just have to wait."
They've always considered themselves "the current custodians" of the Central, and said it'd be lovely to have the next really "respect the hotel, the town, and that Celtic connection".
"I think when we bought from the previous owners, they had invested not just money, but their own interest in the place, and they were happy to sell to us because they could see we'd take the baton and continue that," Julie said.
"Now we are passing that baton on to the next custodian.
"We've had regular and loyal customers for the nearly six years. A lot of those are friends now," Julie laughed.
"We'd really like to thank the people of Glen Innes: without them, the Central wouldn't be what it is."
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