Will Alstonville's iconic pub ever reopen?
THE heritage Federal Hotel at Alstonville has been closed for months and thirsty locals are all asking the same question: Will it ever reopen?
The beloved watering hole, known as "The Feddy", is owned by Casino GP, Dr Aldo Castagna.
He did not return phone calls from The Northern Star.
But it is understood that negotiations are under way for the sale of the hotel.
On the Alstonville Wollongbar Community Info Notice Board's Facebook page, residents expressed their sadness over the pub's extended closure.
Rennae Reilly said Alstonville was the "town with no beer" and Debi Martin said it was "like the heart of town is missing".
"Such a shame ... wasted gem," Debi posted.
Susan Charles posted: "We know the owner, and also that a sale is currently under way, with settlement imminent.
"A husband and wife team are the purchasers after the sale fell through with a previous interested party.
"That sale fell through because Aldo does care who buys it.
"Hopefully new owners will be in soon and we can all enjoy a drink or meal there again."
Despite some concerns from residents, the Federal Hotel's liquor licence is still valid and current, according to OneGov.
A development application for major work, estimated to cost around $750,000, was approved by Ballina Shire Council in 2013.
According to the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society, the hotel was originally at the junction of Ballina Road and Wardell Road.
Built Mr John Daley in 1901, the completed hotel was said to have 34 rooms.
"Sadly, Mr Daley had to sell the hotel in early 1902 because of ill health and he died in March 1906," the historical society wrote on its website.
"In recent years the building and grounds have undergone many changes including the building of a retaining wall adjacent to the footpath.
"The building, the only two storey timber hotel in Ballina Shire, has been heritage listed on National Trust Register, the Register of the National Estate and the Ballina Local Environmental Plan."