Taking stock .. at The Drom
We’re constantly surprised at how many people know Tilba. Often, the Dromedary Hotel is the first thing they think of when we mention our town.
Since it was built in 1895, The Dromedary Hotel has had more owners, licensees and managers than we can count. Each of them has made their mark on the place and now we’re doing the same.
As with all old buildings, a lot of the time and money we’ve been investing in the pub isn’t visible to the naked eye!
One of the first things we did was completely renovate the public bathrooms. We were able to add capacity by creating another cubicle and absolutely everything was replaced so that they are in-keeping with the age and character of the building, but also easy to keep clean!
While we were at it, we had Tilba Plumbing replace the grease trap for all the kitchen waste with a much larger one. This meant digging an enormous hole in the ground outside the kitchen, to bury the grease trap, giving it greater capacity and ensuring that it was properly sealed to stop it giving off some nasty odours!
As well as updating various pieces of equipment essential for keeping the bar and kitchen running, some of the most significant work has been in replacing all the windows and doors. These have been handcrafted by a specialist company in Batemans Bay, South Coast Windows & Joinery. Some of the biggest challenges for our builder – aptly named Tilba Bilda - has been how to fit these beautiful full sash windows into a building that is no longer level! Quite the headache!
One of the most noticeable changes inside has been to the dining room. All the walls and woodwork were repainted by Warren and Troy with some further assistance from various family members, and new restaurant standard furniture has been installed. In the hallway, we’ve spruced the place up with some new paint and stair carpet.
New uniforms for all bar and kitchen staff feature the new Drom logo by Merimbula-based designer Sonia Grothe, who’s business 'Flying Parrot' also developed both the Visit Tilba and Dromedary Hotel websites.
Outside, we’ve tidied up the front and back yards to provide more eating, drinking and people-watching capacity! Sadly, the old furnace in the back beer garden was defeated by old age and had to be moved on. On hearing the news, Narooma Men’s Shed took it upon themselves to create a replacement and the new Drom ‘Rocketship’ burner was born! She’s even more impressive than her predecessor and probably a lot more effective.
We’ve also upgraded all the security and CCTV systems and various other electrics with the assistance of Will Ferrell’s team at South Coast Lighting, and others, and we’ve had literally countless weird and wonderful gadgets and fixes undertaken by local welder Jason Snell at Tilba Welding.
All this has meant that we were the proud recipients of the Excellence in Small Business Awards for Eurobodalla shire in July this year. This is an incredible achievement and well-deserved recognition for a team of people that have only been running the Drom since July last year.
What’s next? We’ll be looking at what else we can do outside in the beer garden. We’ve already rebuilt the stage in solid merbau wood, and Tilba Bilda’s whipped up a great matching bench beside it – definitely the best seats in the house when the Sunday Arvo Sessions are in full swing!