SOLD: Owners of the Lunatic Hotel Bob and Desley Kane.
SOLD: Owners of the Lunatic Hotel Bob and Desley Kane. Rodney Stevens

NRL star buys Lunatic Hotel

BOB and Desley Kane are looking forward to their first holiday in more than 13 years after selling Drake's iconic Lunatic Hotel to former rugby league star Paul Mares.

After more than four years on the market, Mr Kane said it was NRL legend Brad Fittler who suggested that Mr Mares, a former Parramatta player, 'check out' the Lunatic Hotel, which was for sale.

"Freddy Fittler was saying to Paul Mares what a great pub it was, because he calls in every year and we give him $500 for the Hogs for the Homeless ride he does each year," Mr Kane said.

"Freddy said, 'You want to go up and have a look at Drake's Lunatic Hotel?' and so he did.

"The next day Paul Mares said, 'I'll take it' ... he just had the one look and decided to buy it."

Initially listed for $1.4 million, Mr Kane said when they dropped the price to $1 million, Mr Mares snapped up the hotel, which is named after a former gold mine at Drake.

"Paul Mares, who played for Parramatta back in the 80s, has bought the hotel but he's not going to run it, he's going to lease it out," he said.

Locals and visiting patrons won't see much of the former Parramatta enforcer.

"He has arranged for Amanda Rose Hartley, who is in Townsville at the moment, to run the pub," Mr Kane said.

For the past three weeks, Mr Kane said he and wife Desley had been moving their personal belongings to their property, where they have established Mudflat Road Backpackers Accommodation.

Paul Mares' NRL career was cut short when, aged 27, he suffered a dislocated neck, which could have left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.



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