Owner operator of the Brisbane Valley Tavern in Fernvale on keeping the pub scene family friendly.
It’s 2pm on a Tuesday and the lunch time rush at the Brisbane Valley Tavern in Fernvale is over. Around the tavern a group of office staff are just finishing off their lunch and are preparing to return to work. A couple with two kids are on their way out after a family lunch date and a couple of gents are having a quiet cold one and playing a game of pool. It’s a relaxed and comfortable place to be. I soon overhear that one of the gents playing pool is the resident chef, and it’s his day off. This was my first clue that the Brisbane Valley Tavern was going to be a pretty special place. You know it’s a great place to be, when everyone has a smile on their face and the staff come back to hang out on their day off. Looking around the open plan tavern, I can see a waitress diligently clearing tables and picking up multiple crayon infested colour-in sheets left on tables. There’s a kids playroom bursting with colour and in the corner, I spy a mysterious cyclone wind machine, which I make a mental note to ask about later. You can tell that this is a family friendly place and look forward to quizzing Sam Waytt, owner and operator about how he so successfully collides his two worlds of pub and family.
DESCRIBE THE BRISBANE VALLEY TAVERN
We are a family run and family marketed venue so most of our events that we do are based around people with families. We’ve shied away from the traditional rough, male dominated pub atmosphere and we find this is beneficial for everyone because it’s a place where everyone can relax and be themselves. Our venue aims to please families and we do this with kids eat free nights, face-painting at special events and free kids colour ins and activities. We’re a tight knit community (in Fernvale) and our family friendly attitude compliments that well.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING AT THE BRISBANE VALLEY TAVERN?
For me, it’s like coming back home. I moved to Fernvale when I was six years old and lived here most of my life. I ventured away into the city for a few years, but found my way back home to Fernvale. It’s nice to be local again.
WHAT INSPIRES SAM?
It’s not so much what inspires me, but more what doesn’t inspire me. I worked in very large venues in busy cities where patrons never see the owner or manager because they are either offsite or locked up in an office somewhere. I didn’t want to run that kind of business. I wanted to run a business where people can get to know me and come and have a chat. I want people to feel relaxed and comfortable and like they are just coming over to “Sam’s place”. I’ll have a beer with anyone and I want my patrons to feel comfortable with me and in my venue.
WHAT’S THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU HAVE RECEIVED ABOUT THE BRISBANE VALLEY TAVERN?
Repeat clientele. I have a family from Victoria who come up every second month and stay in an apartment for about a week. When I asked them why they keep coming they said that they just really love the apartment and coming to the area to experience the dams and walking tracks.
WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED AT THE BRISBANE VALLEY TAVERN?
Evicting a goose from one of our apartments. A couple rented an apartment and advised they had a little dog. It turned out to be a giant goose! I felt really bad, but due to OH&S, I had to ask the goose to leave.