WORDS BY NIKKI SORBELLO
Tucked away at the end of a road, in a clearing near a creek crossing, sits Bucca Hotel, as proud and beautiful as she would have been when first built in 1897.
Despite the enduring popularity of this local watering hole, the history of Bucca Hotel is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Folklore and tall tales prevail, lacking dates and details.
Most of the history is told through a poem on the wall, written in 1997. It tells the tale of a Dane named Dall who set up a bakery beside the Kolan River, selling bootleg home brew on the side. When
his business was shut down by the police, he would hollow out loaves of bread to hold flasks. He was threatened with jail before eventually receiving a liquor licence on July 7, 1897.
Since 2016 the Bucca Hotel has been owned by Ron Kadel, who manages it with his partner Sarah Wesener. The couple is hoping to delve a little deeper into the history ahead of the pub’s official 125th birthday this year.
“From what I’ve read, people used to catch the train from Invicta Mill to the Bucca Hall. They’d spend time at the Hall then come back here, and stay up all night. So not much has changed,” Sarah said with a smile.
While the Hotel has all the markings of an old-time country pub, with corrugated iron, sweeping verandah and no pokies in sight, the old girl is in good nick, thanks to a facelift and a lot of work by Ron and Sarah over the past five years.
The beer garden under the trees is the perfect spot for live music each Sunday. It complements the large stage and camping area used for bigger events, like the birthday celebration that will be held on Saturday, July 9.
Regular pool competitions and counter meals are just another of the venue’s drawcards. You can even ask for a side of the famous house-made Bucca Black Worcestershire Sauce.
“It’s Ronnie’s recipe that we had at home,” Sarah said. “He started asking people to try it and everyone just loves it, so we started bottling it. We have 700ml bottles at the bar and 500ml bottles for Bauer’s Butchery and Kuskey’s Butcher Shoppe in Bundaberg and Kuskey Country Meats in Gin Gin. We are also planning on releasing a barbecue sauce.”
Tickets are on sale for the 125th birthday celebration. Visit the Bucca Hotel Facebook page for details. 5 North Bucca Road, Bucca. 07 4157 8171