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Major changes for Potters Hotel: new owner, new name, new chef, major renovation

For years it has been one of wine country's best known watering holes - Potters Hotel.

Now the prominent gateway site to the vineyards is undergoing sweeping changes including a major renovation - and getting a new name to boot.

Melbourne-based craft beverages business Founders First - known in the industry as Mighty Craft - has acquired the hotel and from October the 18-year-old entertainment hub will be renamed The Mighty Hunter.

But that's not all.

Internally Potters, set among the historic brick beehive kilns, will be the Hunter base for Newcastle craft beer producer Foghorn Brewery who took up home at the site earlier this year.

On top of that the hotel is undergoing a major refurbishment to the bistro, bar and function areas. Using Hunter builders and contractors, work is expected to be complete by the end of October.

And to cap it all off, highly credentialled chef Sean Townsend - formerly of hatted Muse restaurant, Muse Kitchen and more recently, the Prince of Merewether - has taken over the kitchen.

NEW ROLE: Chef Sean Townsend, who has moved from The Prince of Merewether, back to Pokolbin at the soon to be renamed The Mighty Hunter.

NEW ROLE: Chef Sean Townsend, who has moved from The Prince of Merewether, back to Pokolbin at the soon to be renamed The Mighty Hunter.

With a chef of his pedigree stepping in, there's no doubt the new owners are looking to take the food up a notch or two.

"My approach for The Mighty is to produce clever but uncomplicated and approachable fare using only the best local ingredients," Townsend said.

"All it takes is a bit of confidence, a less is more mindset and using quality ingredients without overthinking it

"The guys at Mighty Craft are all about empowering those that run their venues and want us to be involved in building something, and that is quite unique. It's a really amazing environment to be in, and it's something that I really feed off."

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Founders First CEO Mark Haysman is excited by the possibilities.

"We fell in love with Potters when we first visited and instantly knew it was the perfect place for us to build a community and share our products," he said.

"We hope over time The Mighty becomes a must-visit destination for anyone coming to the Hunter Valley."

The Mighty Hunter will officially launch on Saturday, October 10 with mini free brewery tours, kids' activities and live music on the lawn.

Opening hours will be 11am to 10pm Monday to Thursday, 11am to midnight on Friday, 10am to midnight on Saturday, and 10am to 10pm on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the venue will host Oktoberfest festivities this long weekend, with German-themed food and beers from 10am each day, and live music on Saturday and Sunday from 2.30pm.

This story Potters gets new name, new owner, new chef and a major renovation first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.