Alison Bennett Taylor, Denmark Bulletin
Local beer and festive cheer were flowing when the Denmark Hotel reopened for trading under new ownership recently.
More than 400 locals filled the 100-year-old building for free drinks put on by the new owners in November before the doors were closed for a quick refit in time for the summer crowds.
Denmark local and former NBA basketballer Luc Longley and his wife, celebrity chef Anna Gare, joined a group of 12 investors to purchase the historic building last month.
They plan to stagger the pub’s renovations, trading as they go and listening to what the community wants.
From sneaking into the pub as an underaged teen to providing a place of refuge on trips home from the United States at the height of his basketball career, the pub holds special meaning for Luc.
“Coming back from Chicago, I always felt very welcome in Denmark,” he said.
“I would love to see the pub go back to being the heart of the town.
“It speaks to a lot of my childhood and adulthood and, commercially, I think it can be a real asset.
“Coincidentally, I have just signed on with Hahn beer to do basketball promotions this year, so suddenly I am in alcohol promotion.
“And Anna is excited to get around the food.” Punters were treated to a taste of what they can expect from the new menu, with Mt Barker marron served up alongside more traditional pub fare.
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This article appeared in the Denmark Bulletin, 21 December 2023.