Pubgoers solemnly downed one last beer as the clock struck noon on Monday, when all pubs were forced to close their doors in response to the looming coronavirus threat.
The mood was sombre at the Riverina Hotel, where patrons gathered at a safe distance for one last drink and one last slap at the pokies.
One of them was loyal patron Barry Gibbons, who was "quite upset" that he would not be able to spend his afternoons at the pub with his mates for the forseeable future.
"It's a shame because I like coming up here and having a nice cold beer and a few bets, but we won't be able to do that for a long while," Mr Gibbons said.
"We've got a tipping competition here - it won't be happening. We've got a punter's club - it won't be happening. It's going to hurt a lot of people."
In the meantime Mr Gibbons has made sure to stock his fridge full of beer, and he intends to spend his afternoons going fishing - if the river levels ever recover.
Now that Mr Gibbons and his wife are unable to use the pokie machines, he plans to use the money saved to buy more beers.
"My home is my pub," Mr Gibbons said.
The shock decision to close all pubs came as a sudden blow for Riverina Hotel publican Darrin Walsh, who received no notice from the government until it was announced on the news.
Mr Walsh was forced to lay off most of his casual staff, now that there is no work to be had for potentially months on end.
"It's going to be a big impact on our business and the whole region," Mr Walsh said.
"We'll have to play it by ear."
However Mr Walsh counts himself lucky that his drive-through bottle shop out the back of the hotel has been deemed an essential service and will be allowed to stay open pending further announcements.
On Monday Mr Walsh saw a sharp spike in alcohol sales as people begin to stockpile beers following the announcement that all pubs would be closed.
"Even though supplies are not a problem, people are still buying up," Mr Walsh said.
The picture remains grim for most publicans, and they are planning to hold an emergency meeting with the Australian Hotels Association to discuss their options.
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