Grand old pub being turned into gourmet food and liqueur hub

ONE of Maryborough's grandest old pubs is being transformed into a gourmet food and beverage hub.

Former Fraser Coast Regional Councillor Anne Nioa has bought the Engineers Arms and is aiming to have the downstairs area, Liqurious, open in time for Maryborough Open House in October.

"There will be 24 liqueurs - all sourced locally - in flavours such as roasted macadamia nut, turkish delight and watermelon and vodka," she said.

Ms Nioa said she was renovating the old stables outside and turning the area into a bar and courtyard.

"There will be wine, juices and Maggie Beer-style food," she said.

Ms Nioa said she was inspired to buy the old pub, which had been on the market for five years, when her company Strategic Nous was contracted by the council to review the Maryborough CBD urban planning schemes earlier this year.

"I used (Engineers Arms) as a test case to see how someone could bring new business into the CBD," she said.

"I ended up selling (the idea) to myself."

Ms Nioa, who will be living in the upstairs area of the building, said she believed there was a gap in the market for a business of its kind as "vintage is far cooler than heritage".

"Energy and enthusiasm goes a long way," she said.

"If people can have a really good experience here with regional produce ... the idea sells itself."

She has already leased out two rooms downstairs - one to a hairdresser and beautician and one to a seamstress.

Engineers Arms

  • Built on the corner of March and Bowen Sts in 1889 to replace an earlier hotel circa 1865
  • Last operated as a restaurant, bar and bed and breakfast
  • Rumoured to be haunted by members of the Dillane family, who ran the business in 1870


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