JEREMY FURZE - THE BRIDGE HOTEL
I grew up in Melbourne, with three siblings and some very awesome friends who didn’t mind that I was shy and terrible at footy.
I did Italian and Marketing at Uni. My background is in entertainment and hospitality. One day I walked into my favourite Melbourne bar, Some Velvet Morning and the owner told me he was selling up. Fast forward three years and my brother and I also have The Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine. I manage a band, The Teskey Brothers in my non-existent spare time. The Bridge is a big one for us but we always thought we would be a good fit for the place. Luckily the timing was right and we got in. The two of us work well together (mostly) and have our different roles in the business. I couldn’t imagine being in business with someone who I didn’t play-fight with as a kid. There’s a level of trust and humour that you can’t build with a stranger. We hope to grow the live music offering and also get more involved with local community groups and projects.
I moved to Castlemaine because it’s a very welcoming and vibrant community and the backyards are huge. My wife Nicole grew up in the country and wanted to go back somewhere out of town so this was our compromise. Out here, everyone is more connected and less stressed out, myself included. But there is a lack of work – it was tough to find before we had the pub – and the distance I have to drive to find a good….oh no wait we have everything we need right here!
I go back to the city for business and family. My sister is in Preston and the music business is mostly based in Sydney so I make regular trips up there. The band has busy periods where it’s all go and I have to be away a fair bit. But there are also times when it’s less hectic so I can spend time with the family. The hardest part is switching off when that happens, being present. I’m trying to do that more this year.
Raising a family here is awesome. My son Louis loves the open spaces. We can walk to the bush from our house and he runs wild. It’s no secret there are a lot of young families in the area so finding playmates hasn’t been hard at all. Bit jealous that he has more friends than me though.
Favourite places in the area: Vaughan Springs, Mount Alexander/Oak Forest, Lot 19, The Theatre Royal, Guildford Pub during the Banjo Jamboree, Newstead community garden, the scrub near our house.
Advice for anyone thinking of moving here: Buy your booze early. Let go of the city as soon as you can. There are always hiccups. But that’s life. And Ice cream Social makes everything okay.