16 Jul 2019
Words Raphaella Saroukos NT News
Popular NT roadhouse listed for sale with price tag of $2.2 million
A POPULAR roadhouse 116km outside of Tennant Creek is up for sale. The business underwent a major transformation when its current owner took over and he believes it’s time someone else took over.
ONE of the Territory’s most popular roadhouses, the Devils Marbles Hotel, is on the market for $2.2 million.
Put on the market last week, the hotel sits in Wauchope, 116km out of Tennant Creek and was opened in 1941 as a homestead.
Owner Greg Targett bought the Hotel in 2012 and has worked tirelessly to grow the business, which saw a turnover of about $2.5m last year compared to $1.3m in 2012.
“We’ve done what we set out to achieve here, which was to take it where it was to where it is now,” he said.
“We’re very proud of that. I think it’s time for someone else to make their contribution.”
Since buying the business Mr Targett has invested more than $700,000 upgrading the infrastructure, fuel bowsers and rebranding the hotel.
He said one of his most successful upgrades was to the hotel’s restaurant, which has one two Golden Plate Awards and was nominated for a third this year, thanks to the efforts of chef Bernie Ladignon.
“We inherited the bain-marie of death, everything was deep fried and out of a box,” Mr Targett said.
“We just make the effort and when you’ve got someone like Berne who’s magic it’s a pretty good combination.
“We’ve got these dishes that have taken a life of their own. People come from Tennant Creek just to get takeaway.”
Mr Targett said the Hotel saw hundreds of people walk through its doors, which was a personal highlight.
“We’re not a big roadhouse by territory standards but we’re chocker block,” he said.
“Every night there’s a kaleidoscope of people from all walks of life and that’s what makes it so good.”
He decided to put the Hotel on the market to take a breather and focus on family.
Mr Targett offered advice for future owners to secure the success of the Hotel.
“Just stay focused on what you’re here for, which is the customers and the cleanliness and the food,” he said.