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Paeroa Hotel regulars Phill Hill, Eri Mack, Danny Te Iri and Colin Miller cut the Kahlua cake to celebrate 125 years of the old pub. Photo SUPPLIED

Paeroa Hotel celebrates 125 years – and still going strong

The Paeroa Hotel celebrated its 125th birthday in style in June, with a small gathering attended by the hotel’s residents and regulars.
The Belmont Rd hotel, opened in 1898, is one of Paeroa’s oldest buildings. Current owners Judy and Jack Young bought the hotel in 2011, drawn to Paeroa specifically because of the grand old structure.
“It just grew on us,” Judy said.
“There’s not many of them [old hotels], and it’s a social thing. People come here for the social side of it. We pay the bills but it belongs to the locals; it’s the locals’ hotel.”
The hotel boasts 18 rooms upstairs, half of which are occupied by long-term residents.
“It’s more of a family,” Judy said. “I always make a cake for the staff on their birthday, and anyone upstairs.”
The bar downstairs is a gathering place, with the feel of a traditional rural pub. While the adjacent restaurant is currently shuttered, it’s fully furnished and functional.
She’d love to see more life and energy in the place, Judy said; “the building’s held up well, and we keep it in good repair”.