PJ's on Wollombi celebrates building's 100th anniversary

MILESTONE: PJ's on Wollombi owners Paul and Gaye Hocking and their daughter Paige invite the community to join the building's 100th birthday party.

MILESTONE: PJ's on Wollombi owners Paul and Gaye Hocking and their daughter Paige invite the community to join the building's 100th birthday party.

A Wollombi Road icon turns 100 this year, and its new proprietors are planning a big celebration this Saturday night.

The PJ O’Neill building at West Cessnock has been known by many names over the years – O’Neill’s Wine Shop, Horton’s Hotel and the Wine Society.

In more recent years it has been home to SSS BBQ Barns, Daniel’s Restaurant, and since September this year, PJ’s on Wollombi.

It was built in 1917 by Patrick James O’Neill, whose father, Patrick John O’Neill, had built the original wine shop next door in 1878.

PJ’s on Wollombi owners, Cessnock locals Paul and Gaye Hocking had been looking “all over NSW” to buy a pub when they came across the O’Neill building.

Gaye says it was a “lightbulb moment” – with Paul’s initials also ‘PJ’ and the building turning 100 years old this year, it’s like it was all meant to be.

With their daughter Paige in the kitchen, they opened for business September 16, with a focus on great food and live music.

The Hockings invite the local community, descendants of the O’Neill family and anyone interested in having a fun night out, to join them on November 18 to celebrate the grand old building’s 100th birthday in style.

The fun will start at 6.30pm, tickets are $60 per person (or $50 pre-purchased), including cocktail food, a glass of bubbly and entertainment by The Lairs.

To book your tickets or more information, phone Paul on 0406 209 648 or Gaye on 0455 101 696.