If you walked into the Court Tavern in Campbelltown 15 years ago, you would need to spend half an hour saying hello to everyone else who beat you to it.
It was that popular and everyone knew everyone.
It was a little quiet on Mondays, a little less so on Tuesdays and so on until rowdy Fridays came along and it was a regular party in there every week without fail.
Lunches at Rumpole’s – as the restaurant part was called during this period – often turned into dinners as the crazy “greed is good’’ 1980s stretched into the last decade of the 20th century.
There was a real buzz about the length and breath of Queen Street and they were heady days for Campbelltown – and Court Tavern was where the real action was, not the court house across the road nor the council building 50 metres away.
I remember mayors popping down to Court Tavern to have a quiet chat with someone lunching there, but generally they stayed away because they thought it would lead to trouble.
Ironically, this was where the late John Marsden made his name as a solicitor. His family owned the pub and it was used by the circuit court when it was in town a couple of decades or more earlier.
But these people enjoying life with a long, leisurely lunch were also the same people who dug deep to help all the worthwhile causes around the town.
So in a way their legacy lives on in a terrific way, with the region now famous for its generosity of spirit.
As for Rumpole’s it now serves terrific Chinese food and it’s just called Court Tavern. A couple of the old boys now and again meet there for lunch, a quiet beer and a lot of reminiscing.