Former NRL star takes control of Lunatic pub

CONTROVERSY and confusion has ended, with Drake’s iconic Lunatic Hotel taken over by a new owner this week.

Bob and Desley Kane had placed the roadside favourite on the market four years ago and late last year said they intended to shut shop while they continued their search for a buyer.

The pair said they grew tired of ‘all the bull’ and would close the doors to the public until someone bought the place, but instead, they remained open until this week when a new owner took charge.

Former rugby league star Paul Mares purchased the hotel on the back of a suggestion from another NRL legend in Brad Fittler.

Fittler, a regular participant in the Hogs for the Homeless initiative, had visited the pub on a few occasions as part of the charity ride.

A former Parramatta junior, Mr Mares rose through the ranks and was part of the clubs premiership winning team in 1983.

A stint in France was followed by a season at Eastern Suburbs before a recurring knee injury cut his playing career short.

Initially listed for $1.4 million, Mr Mares snapped up the property when the price dropped to $1 million.

Locals hoping to enjoy a regular beer with the new owner may be disappointed, with Mr Mares understood to have arranged for the hotel to be leased.

The Kane’s will now turn attentions to their Mudflat Road Backpackers Accommodation and said they were looking to enjoy their first holiday in 13 years.

“We’re not getting any younger – we haven’t had a day off in five-years. It was a big decision that wasn’t made easily,” Desley Kane said.


Saturday night (January 30) will be a big night out in Drake when new owners take over the Lunatic Hotel.

The new Lunatic commitment to entertainment will be kicked off by the hot RAWNCHI All Grrl Rock n Blues band on Saturday night when a takeover party will celebrate the new ownership.

Head down for a great meal, entertainment, free camping and free entry.