Numerous truck drivers who stop at and pass through Julia Creek contacted Spy about a recent name change of a popular stop there.
“What had been called Gannon’s Hotel there for many years suddenly changed its name to the ‘Drover’s Dog’ and I would like to know why,” one asked.
He even snapped a pic of the new title when he passed through Julia Creek which is 250km from Mount Isa along the Flinders Highway.
Julia Creek is a major service town for the Gulf cattle industry, and is a major transport trucking centre in the north-west of Queensland.
It handles about 48,000 head of cattle annually and being strategically located is popular for drivers to stop for a cold soft drink and a hearty feed.
So Spy phoned the pub to get to the bottom of the change and was directed to the company which owns it.
Spokesman Geoff Arbis told me that it was decided to call it the Drover’s Dog Hotel to give it a bit of character and to generate interest and a talking point to coincide with the new ownership.
“There are big plans to develop the site with additional motel rooms, a new gaming area, and outside beer garden, while keeping the country pub feel,” he said.
“The best feed at the hotel is the T-bone with chips and salad with a side of pepper sauce. Soon we will be looking at bringing a rib-eye on the bone sourced locally. We have also changed our bottle shop banner to Thirsty Camel and increased our product range on offer. We will also be looking at having music on a monthly basis.”
I did a bit of research on the pub’s history and found it was originally built in 1925 but burnt down five years later.
Its replacement was built in 1932, by Mr and Mrs Bill Gannon who resided in the shire for 50 years.
It featured in the movie of Neville Shute’s “A Town Like Alice”, filmed in 1956, catapulting Julia Creek into the world spotlight.
The new Gannon’s Hotel was rebuilt in 2016 after burning down in 2015.