A much loved Ballarat pub may have closed its doors after decades of service but a legal stoush over a leaky roof seems set to drag on for many months to come.
Queen’s Head publican Jason Tuohy was evicted last week following a seven-month dispute with the pub’s owner over repairs to the 109-year-old pub’s corrugated tin roof.
Mr Tuohy claimed the leaking roof caused sections of the ceiling to collapse twice within a week in early May and an electrical fire in June.
He said the loss of income from the bistro alone amounted to over $10,000 a month.
“We had out first cave-in on May first.
“The rain would come in through an old rusted corrugated roof onto the suspended ceiling and we got that much rain and the hole got worse and worse so all the suspended ceiling collapsed onto our tables and chairs at the bistro.
“We had seven weeks of a roof leaking water all over our carpets, all over our tables, all over our customers.”
The publican’s problems with the roof dragged on until they were given notice to vacate, he said.
To prevent a further collapse the publican removed sections of the suspended ceiling and put out buckets and a paddling pool to catch the run off.
“You just couldn’t do business.
“We were down to 15 per cent at some stage in the bistro of what areas we could use.
“To try and keep a business afloat while all this was going on, it was near impossible.
Mr Tuohy and his wife Caroline have been running the pub on Humffray Street North for 13 years.
The pub closed last Wednesday.
“We’ve got staff there we were concerned and worried about and we kept them on through that very quiet period when business had down turned because they’d been fantastic to us.
“Staff, present and past, and patrons have been exceptional.
“Thirteen years, they’re without their local watering hole and without their pub, they don’t know what to do and funny as it sounds that worries as much as what we’re going to do.”
A legal representative for the owner of Queen’s Head Hotel declined to comment.