Terminus Hotel, Alison Whyte, Fred Whitlock

Today’s Good Weekend has a “2 of Us” profile by Bernadette Clohesy of the pair who own the Terminus Hotel, 39 year old Alison Whyte, and 41 year old Fred Whitlock. It’s certainly changing. Upstairs is the now mandatory fine dining restaurant, but there’s also a big party room giving out onto a large deck. Haven’t tried the restaurant, but the pub grub is superb. In fact, it’s a great pub. The place has a website which I have just discovered. Its history of the pub, which the pair purchased in 1996 — 11 years ago — is entertaining. It reveals that the original third partner is the bloke who bought and presumably did up the Healesville Hotel, another great pub, though mainly for the well heeled, unlike the egalitarian Terminus. I signed up for the mailing list so as not to miss out on events such as the 7 Culinary Disasters from the 70s for $70 dinner just gone.

Since the profile of the Whyte-Whitlock combo doesn’t seem to be available online, here are the bare bones, the bits at least not already covered by this newspaper (here and here). Whyte’s from Tasmania, Whitlock from New Zealand. They met at the Victorian College of the Arts. The class of people who transferred from Duntroon to the VCA might conceivably number one: just Whitlock. They have three children under 6: Rose, Milly and Atticus, and live in the Yarra Valley. That seems to have something to do with Whitlock getting stabbed in the head by a local:

“We’re now living in the Yarra Valley; it’s about an hour’s drive from the pub. We first moved out to the country in 2000 after Fred was assaulted while we were walking our dog in the local park. A fellow with two pit bulls came out of the bushes and one of them attacked our dog. Fred managed to pull the dog away and told the guy off. The guy said ‘I’m going to come back and kill you.’ On our way back, there he was with his two brothers and a very large knife. Fred got stabbed in the head. It was terrifying; he had to have stitches. Fred actually cahsed them back to their house and th epolcie came and the guy was arrested.”

I like this:

“Fred’s great qality is his humanity. He tries to help where he can; it’s a very lovely way to approach the world. And it’s the way I want to raise our children.”

and

“Some of his schemes are annoying — but then that’s also the most fascinating thing about him. We’ve got a shed full of coconut oil. He was going to fry the chips in it and he bought an enormous amount. He was so keen; he said ‘We’ll be helping local farmers in Fiji and Samoa. It’s a good fat too.’ The customers were very helpful in giving feedback — they said it was crap.”

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