Chisholm Tavern a COVID casualty after long battle to remain open

Lottie Twyford 16 September 2021 24
Chisholm Tavern owners Graham and Jennifer Hunt

Chisholm Family Tavern owners Graham and Jennifer Hunt say it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but they had no choice. Photo: Michael Weaver.

The Chisholm Family Tavern will close its doors at the end of the week after a long-running battle against landlords and big business to remain open.

In a Facebook post, Chisholm Tavern owners Graham and Jennifer Hunt said while they had worked hard to keep the Tavern alive, COVID-19 restrictions and the recent lockdown extension had made it impossible to operate a business.

“It’s with sad regret that we will not be opening the Tavern doors again,” it read.

The post said that neither Jenny nor Grumby wanted to retire, but they have had to acknowledge the circumstances in which they find themselves.


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The post cited factors such as the imposition of occupancy limits in place for most of the last 18 months, despite the lack of cases in the ACT, and without any real reduction in rent, making operating the Tavern impossible.

“It’s going to be impossible to manage the restrictions that the government will put in place yet again [once lockdown is ended],” it read.

The Tavern has also been engaged in a well-documented and long-running saga which saw the venue told by Chisholm Village Shopping Centre’s owner Ganellen to vacate the premises in order to build a McDonald’s instead.

A legal battle centred on the position of a toilet block that needed to be acquired and then knocked down for the McDonald’s to be built.

This saw two successive DAs knocked back by the Government before these decisions were eventually overturned in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT).


READ ALSO: A day on the COVID-19 hotlines – what are your questions, Canberra?


A petition launched earlier this year calling on the ACT Government to recognise community concerns around the proposed development received tripartisan support from the area’s MLAs – Jonathan Davis (Greens), Mark Parton (Canberra Liberals) and Joy Burch (Labor).

Jenny also said the Tavern was “in dire need of renovation” which is also not viable in the current economic climate.

Jenny has encouraged anyone who has enjoyed the Tav’s schnitzels, parmis and crumbed cutlets to place an order one last time. Call 0413 527 304 from 3:00 pm to place your order on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.


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24 Responses to Chisholm Tavern a COVID casualty after long battle to remain open
MERC600 MERC600 5:49 pm 18 Sep 21

Tis a sad thing. Have wandered in at various times over the last 30 odd years, and will miss the tav and Jenny and Gumby.

Still unsure about the Maccas thing. Is the area big enough ? even if they blow up the public toilet block it still looks a bit small.
However I suppose the owners of the site are dusting off plans they have had for some time.
‘watch this space’ as the saying goes.

Pat Kelly Pat Kelly 6:01 pm 17 Sep 21

Thanks for your great times we all had,30 years of it,you guys go and enjoy life,many thanks.your most welcome to call in to the Tathra Taren any time, drinks on me.cheers.

Nunkeri Bungledool Nunkeri Bungledool 8:59 am 17 Sep 21

Hope no yucky Maccas is built. Thanks to Jen and Gumby...

Jay Franchi De Luri Jay Franchi De Luri 6:14 am 17 Sep 21

Mark there is still time for a few cutlets…. Amy

Julie Marshall Julie Marshall 4:36 am 17 Sep 21

After the fight ppl did so McDonald’s couldn’t get it you have now dropped the fence ;(

Tori Hyde Tori Hyde 11:31 pm 16 Sep 21

So very sorry to see this great place close. Best schnitzels and cutlets around.

Marty Bocking Marty Bocking 7:53 pm 16 Sep 21

Kerry Gilloway you’re favourite venue!

Jenny Bodel Jenny Bodel 7:14 pm 16 Sep 21

John Bodel sad news for some of the old regulars 😌

Garry Sims Garry Sims 6:34 pm 16 Sep 21

Cassie Tucker ohh no! Ur fave😝🍻

    Cassie Tucker Cassie Tucker 6:35 pm 16 Sep 21

    Garry Sims haha hardly 😜But sad for the owners they are lovely.

Finagen_Freeman Finagen_Freeman 4:55 pm 16 Sep 21

But hang on, the government gave $660k to a church which turned a $1m profit. Why are we not supporting locals better? It’s another reason why governments no longer serve their people.

Richard Allen Richard Allen 4:53 pm 16 Sep 21

Now welcome McDonalds

Sammie Davis Sammie Davis 4:52 pm 16 Sep 21

Should of accepted the amount mcdonalds offered.

Shalini Nestor Shalini Nestor 4:42 pm 16 Sep 21

Jenna Gabriel oh noooo 😞

Charlie Karmenu Flask Charlie Karmenu Flask 4:16 pm 16 Sep 21

Domenic Fabbo

Bryan Doherty Bryan Doherty 3:44 pm 16 Sep 21

Bloody Maccas.... boycott Maccas if it gets built...

    Rebecca Annetts Rebecca Annetts 5:53 pm 16 Sep 21

    Bryan Doherty not the best thing to put in there but think of all the jobs it will bring for young kids

    Tara Jameson Tara Jameson 6:34 pm 16 Sep 21

    Bryan Doherty Read the article. This is absolutely nothing to do with Macca's and everything to do with the fact that they couldn't keep the business viable due to COVID.

    LJ Oan LJ Oan 10:37 pm 16 Sep 21

    Bryan Doherty not Maccas this time, how sad after how hard the community fought 😞

Sharon Merten Sharon Merten 2:56 pm 16 Sep 21

So very sad. Christine this is your sister isn’t it?

    Christine Cole Christine Cole 1:58 am 17 Sep 21

    Yes it is Sharon Merten. Big and long fight. Proud of their resilience and determination. Also proud of making a big decision like this. 30 years…. It’s a long time.

Carol Ofori Carol Ofori 2:52 pm 16 Sep 21

So sad to read. I have never been here but my son is interested in a career in hospitality. Is it so scary to think what is ahead for our youth.

Mick N Annie Drage Mick N Annie Drage 2:33 pm 16 Sep 21

Sorry to hear 😢👎

Gary Hatcliffe Gary Hatcliffe 2:20 pm 16 Sep 21

Shame the community couldn't rally around them. A 'No pokie' venue like this is treasure.

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