HOTEL DEADLINE: Drake hotel owners Bob and Desley Kane, who will close the doors next month if the business doesn’t sell.
HOTEL DEADLINE: Drake hotel owners Bob and Desley Kane, who will close the doors next month if the business doesn’t sell.

Lunatic needs to sell for Drake to keep iconic pub

THE beating heart of Drake could soon stop with the iconic Lunatic Hotel set to close its doors in July if the business doesn't sell.

Owners Bob and Desley Kane have had the pub they bought in 2002 for sale for $1.4 million for four years without a genuine offer.

The hotel - named after a nearby mine called The Lunatic, as well as a racehorse and one of the town's former pubs - had brought the owners 13 years of enjoyment, Mrs Kane said.

But, after five years without a holiday and enduring repeated complaints about the pub from a handful of local people, the couple said they'd had enough.

"For seven years we have been targeted constantly and you're forever defending yourself, which gets a bit tiring," she said.

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Since they bought the pub, Mr and Mrs Kane have transformed it.

"When we first bought it the hotel was pretty basic with no colour about it," she said.

"We wanted to make it a family-orientated hotel so we built the beer garden so we could hold functions, we built up the bistro and spent a lot of money doing it up, we painted the pub and because Bob's a big collector of memorabilia we put some of that in the pub where we spend most of our time."

Mrs Kane said they also built a shop in 2006, after the general store closed, and added a laundromat alongside the hotel.

Walking from the bar to the bistro is a journey through the town's history, with photos telling stories from days past.

Mrs Kane said thousands of motorcyclists stopped and stayed at the hotel each year.

"We get a lot of bike clubs that do charity rides coming to stay," she said.

"We just did a big birthday party for one guy a couple of weeks ago and his mates came from as far as Western Australia and Townsville to meet here."

The Drake community has a big heart, Mrs Kane said, raising more than $35,000 in just a month for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

"For many years the hotel and the community of Drake have been supporters of the rescue helicopter," said Zeke Huish, the helicopter service's fundraising manager.

"Through fundraising events and donation drives we really can't thank them enough for their support."



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