28 March 2024

Wagga’s revamped William Farrer Hotel on track to relaunch by Anzac Day

| Chris Roe
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young woman opening front door at hotel

General manager Gabrielle Clark says the William Farrer Hotel is on schedule for a much-anticipated Anzac Day reopening. Photo: Chris Roe.

Work continues at a furious pace behind closed doors at Wagga’s William Farrer Hotel, which is reaching the pointy end of a $1.5 million refurbishment.

General manager Gabrielle Clark said the clock was ticking for the much-anticipated relaunch for Anzac Day.

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“Anzac Day is our biggest day of the year, so the builders are working very hard so that we can be open,” she said.

“We have the big two-up, it’ll be the relaunch of the pub as well and we’ll have a new menu coming out.”

hotel renovation under way

Work out the back of ”the ‘Faz” continues at a furious pace. Photo: Chris Roe.

Inside, the front bar remains the same for now and has continued to host a steady stream of customers while the bistro and beer garden undergo a major transformation.

“So obviously the last few months have been the biggest months so far with the renovations,” Gabrielle explained.

“We’ve seen the revamp of the playground out the back, the bistro, the kitchen and the back bar are getting redone.

“We’re still going to keep the same vibe for the regulars and stuff like that, but obviously it’s going to be more modern and with a lot of natural light coming in.

“We’re really trying to encourage families to come into the venue.”

old photo of hotel

The pub on the corner of Edward and Peter streets was originally named the Terminus Hotel. Photo: WWDHS.

The William Farrer Hotel, known by locals as ”the Faz”, was purchased in 2021 by Harvest Hotels, which also owns the Victoria Hotel on Baylis Street and other properties in Albury, Tamworth and Dubbo.

The company immediately flagged extensive renovations to the beer garden and an expansion of the bistro and play area to appeal to families.

The most obvious change for curious passers-by has been the paint job, with the familiar maroon replaced by a light olive with white and grey highlights.

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The colour change not only brightens up the exterior, but it is also in keeping with the heritage vibe of the venue that was established in 1879 as the Terminus Hotel.

The original single-storey front was demolished and rebuilt in 1938 and, like most pubs of the day, sported a light-coloured tile exterior.

The hotel’s current name comes from agronomist William James Farrer, who gained fame through his “Federation” strain of wheat and was dubbed the “father of the Australian wheat industry”.


The William Farrer’s familiar maroon has been replaced with a brighter coat of paint. Photo: Chris Roe.

With a month to go until relaunch, Gabrielle said the hotel was looking for more staff.

“We’ve just recently put up a social media post asking people to come in, bring their resumes in and talk to the management team,” she said.

“We do have a lot of interest so far but we are still looking for more people.”

You can keep up to date with the renovations on the hotel’s social media.

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