Pink Panther pub sold … but will it stay open?

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Larrimah pub of interest to grey nomads
Barry Sharpe has now sold the ‘quirky’ Larrimah Wayside Inn. PIC: Neda Vanovac/ABC

One of the Outback’s most iconic hostelries, the Larrimah Wayside Inn – also known as the Pink Panther pub – has been sold.

It is not yet known what plans the new owners have for the business but long-time owner, Barry Sharpe, is hopeful they will ‘carry on with it the way it is’.

The pub, located 500 kilometres south of Darwin on the edge of the Stuart Highway, was sold to an as yet unnamed prominent Territory family. It is not known what it sold for, but Mr Sharpe had hoped to get more than $500,000.

This pub hit the headlines late last year when it was named as the last place Irish-born ‘local’ Paddy Moriarty, 70, was seen before he disappeared in suspicious circumstances. Mr Moriarty, who used to drink eight tinnies of beer per day at the Pink Panther, was also an unofficial ‘meeter and greeter’ there.

The ABC reports that the pub is one of 10 designated unique Outback pubs of Australia. It was sold on a ‘what you see is what you get’ basis, and included three crocodiles, a couple of emus, and a menagerie of 600 other birds and animals.

The pub is packed with Australiana including old beer posters, Akubras, rusted bits of farming machinery and vintage paintings of rodeos. The ABC says that out the front, a giant pink panther sculpture kicks back in a chair, enjoying a beer, while overhead, another one flies a gyrocopter.

Larrimah itself has a population of 11 and, as well as the pub, there is a World War II museum and a disused railway line to interest visitors.

Mr Sharpe, who has run the pub for the past 15 years, sold up due to health reasons.

Now, locals and visitors alike, anxiously await news of what the new owners will do with the premises.

“The pub is very important for any town,” resident, Karen Rayner, told the ABC. “It has the atmosphere, it definitely does … if it closed up, we’re concerned that Larrimah will close up with it.”

  • Have you visited the Pink Panther pub? What was your impression of the place? Comment below.

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5 Responses to Pink Panther pub sold … but will it stay open?

  1. Spent a couple of nights there a few years ago – very interesting local clientele. The had some very friendly kangaroos that come into the van looking for handouts.

  2. Sadly we have seen it decline over the years.. needs a lot of TLC. Hopefully it will remain open in the years to come

  3. Visited here 2 years ago lady feeding joey in bar arranging motorised esky race round town great place full of characters .Locals told us pub owner put pink panther out fishing because he was fed up waiting for shire to fix water leak

  4. Called in there in 2016, at 10am looking for a coffee. The response was “Where do you think this is? Bloody Lygon Street? Now, do you want a beer or not?” Went away coffee-less but loved the attitude.

  5. Was there last year and met Paddy (now listed as missing) and his mate. Such characters! We also went to the Pub for coffee – asked for flat white and a cap – publican said “sure!” then went to the Nescafe tin and spooned coffee into a couple of dirty mugs, poured hot water over it and charged us $5 each cup. We’d do it again tomorrow if we could!

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