FOR many years, the heritage-listed Eaton's Hotel at Muswellbrook provided a silver service for Hunter area and travelling diners.
There isn't anything quite so fancy at the pub today, but owners Phil and Kyua Ryan are attempting to restore Eaton's to its former grandeur.
One of the oldest and most striking pubs in the Hunter, Eaton's Hotel, is instantly recognisable by its roundheaded French windows and enormous veranda featuring cast-iron columns and decorative lacework.
Mr and Mrs Ryan have overhauled the pub's interior, which has many of its original features, and repaired the grand verandas.
They are applying for a heritage grant to refurbish the front of the hotel.
Inside, the most impressive feature is the original oak bar.
"You couldn't buy something like that," Mrs Ryan said.
Mr Ryan, a former bricklayer, has relaid many of the hotel's original bricks in the beer garden.
Originally the White Hart Inn and owned by Ann Ward, the pub was built in 1850 and its name changed when it was bought by William Eaton in 1857.
In its early days, Eaton's was a stopover for Cobb and Co coaches travelling between Singleton and Scone, and the opening next to the main entrance was designed to allow horses to pass through to the back stables.
The building was modified in the 1860s and in the 1920s.
One pub owner, HR Flanders, owned the first car in Muswellbrook and would be seen driving the car, with the hotel's name on the door.