Club Hotel owner Simon Thompson isn't ready to build another pub at Calliope just yet.
Club Hotel owner Simon Thompson isn't ready to build another pub at Calliope just yet. Mike Knott

Publican plans to build new $3m tavern in Calliope

A BUNDABERG publican is set to grow his business in Calliope, near Gladstone, with plans to build a $3 million tavern in the town.

Bundaberg's Club Hotel owner, Simon Thompson, said the development would create about 25 full-time and 15 casual positions, with ongoing wages of $700,000 a year.

He said it would also involve 60,000 man hours in construction, using local tradespeople.

"It's an investment into the local community," Mr Thompson said.

"The developer who built the IGA around it, he's putting in $500,000 in civil works."

Unlike his popular Bundaberg establishment, the 500sq m Calliope venture would primarily serve as a family friendly bistro.

It will also include a play area for the kids, a traditional sports bar, a lounge bar, a drive-through bottle shop and gaming machines.

"The growth of the town warrants it," he said. "A lot of families are living there now. They work in Gladstone and its surrounds.

"There's a long time to go up there, with all the mining related industries."

Mr Thompson said there were two other pubs along the stretch of the Dawson Hwy, but none quite like this multi-million dollar project.

The 34-year-old entrepreneur has been in the hospitality industry since he was 18 and is in a business partnership with his father-in-law.

Together, they have transformed the Club Hotel with renovations, since taking it over in September 2011.

Mr Thompson said provided the necessary approvals were successful, he hoped to open the Calliope tavern in late 2014.

He said he hoped the Calliope township, of about 10,000 people, would welcome the development.

"We are extremely excited," he said.

Calliope is home to two pubs - the Railway Hotel and the Diggers Arms.