When the Robin Hood in Orange sold for $19 million in March, executive chef at the hotel Paul Dauvin decided that it was time to change life's menu and go from the largest eatery in the bustling north of town, down to one of the smallest and most remote.
The Forest Reefs Tavern is situated on the busy crossroads of Forest Reefs Road, Tallwood Road and Long Swamp Road, and with traffic streaming past on the way to Cadia, Mr Dauvin and his partner Emma are positive the move will be a benefit to themselves and the community that surrounds them.
"After 18 years at the Robin Hood I was wondering what to do next and because we live out here on Spring Terrace Road now I'd been to the pub a few times and thought we'd give it a chance," he said.
Mr Dauvin has 26 years of hospitality to draw on and he's not under any illusions as to what a pub like the Forest Reefs Tavern should be serving.
"Just traditional pub grub, nothing fancy, a few chef specials, but at the end of the day I just want good food on the table for the locals," he said.
The pair are leasing the restaurant, to be named 'Paul's at the Tavern' from the hotel's owners Monica Donnelly and John Clements and Emma Dauvin, who also has years of hospitality, will be operating the front of house.
"I've been in hospitality since I could work and I'm now the barista at Coco's in Orange," she said. "Paul loves food and I like people, so it works really well."
That shift from the immensity of the food machine that is the Robin Hood to the more intimate setting of a true country pub is one that Mr Dauvin is grasping with his two experienced chef hands.
"For the locals around here they have to travel all the way into Orange to get any takeaway and with the miners coming through there's another opportunity," he said.
"And we'll be doing catering and long lunches on a Sunday as well."
If the feedback is anything to go by, their plans for a soft opening may be just a little bit firmer to the touch.
"The support that we've been receiving as been amazing," Mr Dauvin said.
"From the locals to all the suppliers it's been fantastic and we're really looking forward to opening up on May 12."
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