After 64 years, the Clatworthy chapter at Sawyers Arms Tavern comes to an end

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After 64 years, the Clatworthy chapter at Sawyers Arms Tavern comes to an end

Farewell to Clats.

After 64 years leading a Geelong institution, the longstanding owners of Sawyers Arms Tavern are handing over the reins.

Located on Noble Street, the Sawyers Arms Tavern has become an iconic fixture in the Geelong hospitality scene, known to many as  the ‘Clats’.

Operating since the 1850s, Sawyers Arms is a stunning building that boasts exposed brick walls and a stained wood-panelled bar, and has earned a solid reputation over the years for its high-quality cuisine to match. Their seasonal menu incorporates pub classics and plentiful seafood options made from local produce, whilst their wine selection is curated to include both local talent and renowned bottles.

Announced via social media this week, owner Peter Clatworthy shared news of the family’s departure from the tavern, thanking his family, his wife and his loyal patrons. The tavern was originally bought by Peter’s grandparents, Eileen and Ken Clatworthy in 1958, with Eileen Clatworthy living upstairs until she was 90.

“After 64 years the Clatworthy chapter at Sawyers Arms Tavern is coming to an end. It has been my biggest honour to meet and serve so many wonderful people,” Pete shared.

“I would especially like to acknowledge my grandparents Eileen and Ken, who started the business, followed by my father, John and my Aunties. My dear brother Matt was an integral part of the success of the hotel and it was a privilege to work alongside him each day, as well as my beautiful children Fraser, Lily and Hugo.

“To my wife Lou, your incredible and tireless work behind the scenes has made this pub feel like a home to everyone who has entered through the door,” he continues.

“Hospitality brings people together, and it has been incredible to share these moments with you. Thank you to generations of genuine, terrific staff who have facilitated these great memories at the Sawyers Arms Tavern.

“Thank you for your loyalty, your enriching conversations and for dining with us. It is time to enjoy a beer.”

Prior to the Clatworthy run, the original tavern was opened in 1850 by John Jackson. Jackson entered the business of innkeeper with interests also as a timber merchant. His new hotel became a popular meeting place. The current building is believed to have replaced the original structure in 1907.

In the 1950’s the name was changed to Kardinia Park Hotel. In 1958 this name was changed back to the original, Sawyers Arms Tavern by the Clatworthy’s when they took over the business. With a family history in Hotels’ Mrs Clat, as she was affectionately known, continued to run the hotel until the early 2000’s.

Respectful of its rich history and old bones, Peter and Lou Clatworthy have carefully restored this venue to maintain the warmth and integrity of the building which is much of the reason it remains a popular meeting place for locals to this day.

The Sawyers Arms Tavern will continue to operate under new owners and is open for lunch from 12pm until 2pm, and dinner from 5:30pm.

Find it at 2 Noble Street, Geelong.