BARGAIN BUY: The Wondai Hotel was purchased for just $1.
BARGAIN BUY: The Wondai Hotel was purchased for just $1.

PHOTOS: Man buys country pub for just $1

THERE aren't many things you can buy with $1 these days.

Maybe an icy pole, a scratchie or a song on iTunes.

But certainly not a 116-year-old country pub.

Or so you would think.

But Wondai resident Dave Bjorklund has done just that.

The Wondai real estate agent first went into the Wondai Hotel back in 2013.

Owner Dave Bjorklund pours a drink behind the bar.
Owner Dave Bjorklund pours a drink behind the bar.

"I came in for a chicken parmy," he said.

"There was a jazz saxophone playing and there was just a buzz about the place.

"It was an incredible experience."

Mr Bjorklund said it was the 1903 building that initially won him over.

"It was such an inviting building, it really left an impression," he said.

The story of how he came to purchase such a monumental pub for the price of a bag of lollies is a remarkable one.

The previous owners of the pub were regular drinkers at the heritage-listed Young and Jackson Hotel in Victoria.

Hung in the Melbourne pub for over 110 years is the famous nude painting of Chloé.

The Melbourne icon is a life-size painting by French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre in 1875.

So when the former Wondai Hotel pub owners did a big renovation on the pub, they commissioned local artist Jan Stewart to paint a replica of Chloé.

 

Dave Bjorklund with Chloé, the most infamous – and least dressed – woman in the pub.
Dave Bjorklund with Chloé, the most infamous – and least dressed – woman in the pub.

"The concept is that Chloé must stay with the hotel at Young and Jacksons, so it is the same here," Mr Bjorklund said.

"She was a gift to Wondai and she must stay with the hotel."

Mr Bjorklund bought the Wondai Hotel for the total sum of $1 and paid $300,000 for Chloé.

"That is what was in the contract," he said.

"I bought the hotel knowing I was going to own it for years, I wanted to protect its history.

"I have no fear of capital gains tax or anything like that, because I have no intentions of selling."

These are words he truly believes after he recently turned down an offer for $1 million for the pub.

"I asked the guy what he wanted to do with it. He wanted to cut it in half and take it to his 600 acres," Mr Bjorklund said.

"I said 'no, that's not happening'.

"I said, 'you could offer me anything, I would not sell it for that purpose'."

The pub owner has had the hotel since January 2017 and he is proud of his family friendly establishment.

"It's different from the other places," he said.

"They have pokies, TAB, KENO and even pool tables.

"This is a place where people feel comfortable to bring their children."

Browse our photo gallery of the $1 pub below:

 

 

South Burnett

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