Police are hunting two masked bandits who held up a hotel at gunpoint at Pottsville.

Around 3.40pm yesterday, two males, one wearing a balaclava, the other a hooded jumper, entered a hotel bottle shop in Overall Drive.

The pair, armed with a bolt action rifle, bailed up a 20-year-old female shop assistant and demanded money from the till.

A 41-year-old man whose suspicions were raised by the thieves’ getaway car entered the shop, armed with a hammer.

When one of the bandits pointed the firearm at him, he dived out of the way.

Carrying the takings and several bottles of whisky, the thieves left the shop without firing a shot and escaped in the 1989 model Ford Laser sedan.

The vehicle, which had been stolen from Cabarita around an hour earlier, was recovered by police a short distance away.

Police from the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command are appealing for anyone with information about the robbery to contact them via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.