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New publicans at the helm of the Cross

Monday, 11th March, 2013

Mick and Jenny Baker will be pulling beers at the Southern Cross Hotel. Mick and Jenny Baker will be pulling beers at the Southern Cross Hotel.

By Kurtis J Eichler

A hotel that shut its doors last month after administrators took over the business will reopen on Tuesday under the helm of new publicans.

Mick and Jenny Baker will be the third publicans in six years to go behind the taps of the historic hotel, built in 1888, taking on the lease from former councillor John Groenendijk.

The hotel had been under lock and key since late February when Mr Groenendijk's company, Turnkey Distributions, fell into the hands of administrators. All staff were sacked, and told they would be re-hired under new management.

Mr Baker, who lived in Broken Hill and surrounding areas until 1983, said only time would tell if the pub would succeed.

"I think it may just take a month or two before people will come in and taste the food we've got going," he said.

A new chef has been appointed and waiters will now serve diners at their table in the Dunes Restaurant, Mr Baker said.

Five-dollar schnitzels have been stripped from the menu due to cost; free snacks and a weekly happy hour are all part of the changes.

The "community feeling" of Broken Hill brought them back to the city as well as the chance to take on a business that could be kept in the family.

The couple have run the Mildura Country Club, a Ceduna motel and the District Hotel in Nairn, SA before making a return to Broken Hill.

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