The Bellevue Hotel in Townsville is a popular place for off-duty truck drivers, and many attended a farewell party for the publican of the past 17 years, Wayne Hornby.
This watering hole is located in the South Townsville suburb near the port and the nearby industrial area where many drivers work from.
Some truck drivers who are parked up at the BP Cluden during fatigue breaks even get a lift or a cab to the ‘Belly’ for a soft drink, a reasonably priced meal, a flutter on the TAB, or even have a go on the pokies.
It is particularly popular on Monday nights when more than 100 pack into the eatery for a chicken schnitzel, salad and chips for $8.
They can listen to a live singer and the following night the ukulele club entertains there.
I spoke to transport owner-operator Dean Anderson who is a regular for tea at the Belly.
“The food is good, staff are friendly and the service is quick. You don’t have to wait long to get your meal. It is a good family atmosphere here,” Anderson said.
He added that he enjoyed speaking to other road transport people there too.
Whilst Hornby has sold the pub to a family from Ballina the good news for patrons is that super friendly barman Jesse Ruedin will be staying on there.
Truckies love having a yarn with Ruedin who often comes in early before his shift and helps the bar person on duty if he or she gets busy.
The Belly’s former publican was local rugby league legend Marshall Colwell who still pops in from time to time.