Publican, ‘Limit Jim’ only allowed customers’ two to four drinks in succession at the Tabulam Hotel

Tabulam Hotel, Tabulam, NSW, 1924. Picture: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

IF you were planning to get on the grog at Jim Jordan’s pub, you chose the wrong bar.

The publican of Tabulam Hotel, in the far north-east of NSW, between Tenterfield and Casino, was known as ‘Limit Jim’. Jim, it was reported, only allowed his customers to drink between two and four beers in succession.

Limit Jim’ had the Tabulam Hotel on the Clarence River from 1909 until his death in 1925.

Jim though was not only famous for limiting his customers’ drinks. He had a reputation for giving free accommodation and meals to soldiers during and after the First World War, and his generosity put Tabulam on the map.

“I am too old to go to the war, but I will do the next best thing; I will help along all those who travel on this road in uniform,” he was reported to have said.

He earned the title of ‘The Prince of Hotelkeepers’, and was always complimented whenever his presence was necessary before a licensing magistrate.

Appearing before the Casino quarterly licensing court in 1924, the police inspector asked if the Tabulam Hotel was kept in a cleanly state, and was well run. Before the inspector could finish, the magistrate quipped: “There’s no necessity for the question; he has a world-wide reputation in that direction. It is the only known hotel where you can’t get four drinks. And he is to be complimented on that.”

Jim died while host of the Tabulam pub at the age of 76 in 1925.

tabulam hotel James Jordan C1920
Jordan’s Tabulam Hotel C1920.

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Categories: NSW hotels, Publicans

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1 reply

  1. This was very interesting. There has been very little chance to the hotel. Wooden steps now concrete and no fireplace. My husband & I with my husbands parents had the Tabulam Hotel from 1978

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