Closing time at Australia’s The Grove Hill hotel
Ever go to Australia’s The Grove Hill hotel, a watering hole between Darwin and Katherine, in what might best be termed ‘the middle of nowhere’? The place is closing. Owner Stan Heausler wanted to sell it but no buyers came forward. Now in his 80s, ‘Stan The Man’ has had enough.
He might continue to drink a bottle of rum a day, as is his won, but he won’t be doing it at the Grove.
Stories abound about the pub “built in 1934 from materials scavenged from abandoned mining sites in the aftermath of the Great Depression.”
“We were in Victoria dredging for gold, me and Derek, and there was a total eclipse,” says one patron. “We were in the Beechworth pub, I was only 17 … He drank everyone’s beer in the bar while they were out looking at the eclipse. I had an old 350 twin motorbike and we got half a carton under each arm, but going up the hill he fell off the back. For weeks later we were picking cans off the road, picking them up every time we went into town.”
The Northern Territory hotel just existed. “It’s not a great little pub,” says Darwin restaurant owner Lars. “It’s just been here for so fucking long, no one really gives a shit. It’s just been here.”
PS: any gold left in the land, Stan? “We used to sell gold nuggets, ” he recalls, “but the locals had run out of them so we’ve got to wait for them to find some more.”