Tavern veteran takes reins at popular drinking spot

THE new manager of a Lockyer Valley business says she has “always loved the place”.

Jamie Bichel had worked at Fairways Tavern for a decade before she stepped up to take the reins as manager this month.

Only a week into the role, she said it had taken off a lot faster than she expected.

“I only took over on July 1 so it’s been quite good since then,” Ms Bichel said.

“I actually thought, with the restrictions, it might have been a bit quiet but it was a good weekend – we had a few in on Sunday and a few in on Saturday and Friday night.”

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Before becoming manager, Ms Bichel’s role had been casual and that she had worked across all areas at the tavern during her career.

“Because it’s a smaller establishment, everybody does a bit of everything,” she said.

“You do the bar, the ordering, the dishes, cooking – everybody helps out with everything.

“I love the customer service side of things but I also like the kitchen, as well – I like a bit of everything.”

She grew up in the area and said she lived “pretty much next door”.

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“I’ve always loved the place – it has a good country feel and a family environment,” she said.

The opportunity to take on the role of manager happened suddenly, in the midst of coronavirus restrictions, when owners Louis and Greg Bickle approached Ms Bichel.

“We were only doing takeaway meals and bits and pieces and then the owner offered me the lease, with restrictions starting to lift,” she said.

“I thought OK, we’ll give it a go – It’s not something I thought I would do.”

Ms Bichel said the owners had supported her since they bought it last year.

“They’re lovely – they have been very supportive and really want it to work for me,” she said.

Read more stories by Ebony Graveur.