Moving on: Railway Hotel Parkes couple set to sell up

29 October, 2020 by Vanessa Cavasinni

Kasie Ferguson and Bianca Sheridan are moving on from their tenure at the Railway Hotel in Parkes, New South Wales after a decade at the pub.

Ferguson and Sheridan first bought the pub in December 2010, after working in hospitality for many years, and wanting their own venue to call home.

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As a Parkes native, Sheridan thought it would be a great place to operate their own pub.

“I was born and raised in Parkes and knew that with the support of family and friends we could be successful here. The pub wasn’t in the best position when we were looking at it but it was the challenge that appealed to me the most. What was I thinking?” she laughed.

The pair have hustled over the last ten years to turn the pub from an overlooked venue to one of the most renowned regional pubs in New South Wales. Part of that transformation was the creation of Hart Bar on the second floor – the pub’s functions and cocktail offering.

“To start something from scratch was pretty special. I just look around sometimes when I’m in the room thinking, how does this even exist?” stated Ferguson.

The hotel has also has put a lot of work into it’s food offering, winning AHA NSW’s Best Casual Dining award in 2019. That food offering has helped them get through 2020, with the local Parkes community rallying around their takeaway offer.

“I’m very proud of the way we have all handled this year. We adapted very quickly to change the way we operated and our staff were incredible in the process. We were very fortunate to be busy throughout the closure producing 14,000 takeaway meals in 70 days! Since opening we have continued our delivery service which has grown our customer base significantly and we are just as busy in house,” stated Sheridan.

Its with mixed emotions that the couple move on from the pub they’ve really put their signature on.

“We always said that The Railway would be a 5-7 year gig and now it’s 10 so it feels like the right time. We have achieved so much and are so proud of the last 10 years but we are ready to make our young family the priority,” stated Ferguson.

The couple are planning to move to Newcastle. After a little break, Sheridan would like to continue in venue operations, while Ferguson wants to focus on helping venues develop their brand and social media – something  she’s really grown into at The Railway Hotel. It’s something that she think prospective buyers will find enticing too.

“The brand that we have created is very appealing. Both The Railway and Hart Bar have a strong social following and excellent reviews across Tripadvisor and Google.”

The development of Parkes is another attractive feature for potential buyers. Currently Parkes is experiencing unprecedented investment with the government injecting millions of dollars into infrastructure.  With major private sector developments such as Pacific National’s $35m Parkes Terminal development, a $2m advanced food manufacturing facility and the expansion of Northparkes Mines, the Shire’s population is forecast to grow. In fact, it may double by 2030.

With plenty of potential to grow the  Railway’s business even further, Sheridan and Ferguson have no doubt that the pub is a worthwhile investment.

“The Railway has given us a wonderful life and we have loved our time here, we hope you do too.”

The Railway Hotel is being sold via EOI campaign through JLL Hotels & Hospitality. The campaign closes on 18 November.