Ex-policewoman is now pulling pints at historic pub
LISA Stewart-Rosenbaum had never heard of Rappville and had no plans to go from policewoman to publican.
"Over the past few months, I'd been looking to buy a home back up north and attempted to transfer my current position within the NSW Police force to work within the area, to no avail," Ms Stewart-Rosenbaum said.
"Out of the blue, an opportunity presented itself when a close friend forwarded the Rappville Pub 'for sale' link to me and said, what do you think?"
Ms Stewart-Rosenbaum immediately liked the charm and character of the Rappville Hotel.
"To change an entire career to that of a publican in an unfamiliar town, (and being someone) who has never poured a beer, was a matter to seriously dismiss," she said.
"However, never one to walk away from challenges, curiosity got the better of me and I drove the eight hour trip to Rappville two days later."
Ms Stewart-Rosenbaum's first impression driving into Rappville struck a chord.
"I immediately resonated and felt a sense of belonging among the severely burnt forests, eerie and beautiful all at once, telling me their own stories of pain, loss and despair," she said.
"I could only imagine the heartbreak the whole town had recently endured. Approaching the bend, peering through the tall spindles of grass on the opposite side of the railway tracks, I actually stopped for awhile and just took it all in."
Even before she got to the pub, she knew Rappville was her destiny, she said.
Having lived in Crabbes Creek, north of Brunswick Heads for 18 years, raising her three children in the small country town, she returned to Sydney 10 years ago.
Her career with the NSW police spans 30 years and she has also been a writer and TV presenter, and with a flair for interior decorating, she has grand plans for the 1911 pub.
Her youngest daughter Eliza who has experience in hospitality, will be by her side at the Rappy.
Ms Stewart-Rosenbaum takes possession of the pub in late June and plans to add memorabilia, photographs and relics highlighting the "footprints that created Rappville" to the hotel.
The back decking will receive an overhaul, housing a cafe and restaurant and a small art gallery.
A general store will be added to provide fresh produce and staples, once council approval is given.
She plans to open the hotel for six days a week and her and Eliza will be residing at the hotel.