Warrnambool's historic Victoria Hotel has undergone significant renovations with its new owners preparing to welcome patrons back.
The hotel is under new ownership with Warrnambool siblings Lucy and Mark Lane purchasing the freehold property and business in February.
The siblings took over on April 29 and have been renovating the hotel which has been servicing the community for more than 115 years.
Ms Lane said the bar and bottle shop continued to trade throughout the renovation and the bistro would re-open in coming weeks.
She said hospitality and pubs were in their family. The pair's grandfather was a publican and their mum grew up in the industry, with their uncle Peter 'Cork' Walsh a long-time owner-operator of Macey's Bistro.
Ms Lane said they hoped to build the business with their priority being cold beer, good pub food and country hospitality.
"We want to be that family, country type, little pub," she said. "We haven't got pokies, we haven't got a TAB we just want to serve cold beer with good people around us. We'll have good, basic food, nothing fancy, we know people just love their parmas."
She said the new menu was "ready to roll". They will both work at the hotel with Ms Lane juggling the role with her job as a primary school teacher at St Pius X Primary School.
She said her brother Mark, who had a background in building, had completed most of the renovations.
"We've pretty much gutted it," Ms Lane said. "We've got new carpet in the bistro, it's all been painted. We've reconfigured the kitchen and bought a new oven and put down new flooring."
She said the phone had been ringing with people inquiring when they could book a table and they were looking for new staff.
"We're trying to build a bit of a team," she said. "We've got the staff who were here previously but once we get the bistro open we're looking for more staff."
She said they had hired some staff including a chef and kitchen hands but were looking for more people.
"It's the sort of industry you need good staff," she said. "They call it hospitality - you need to be hospitable to people.
"The regular drinkers come in and they're looking for a person who's willing to have a conversation, to ask them questions, be their friend.
"We want the locals to come back. A lot are still here and have been really loyal but we want to build on that. There's a bit of a movement in pubs at the moment in Warrnambool.
"We just want to be that untouched, local pub. We're not owned by anyone, we're not run by a group of people, what you see is what you get."
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