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DESIGNATED AREA ORDER
On 15 August, the Victorian
Commission for Gambling and
Liquor Regulation extended
Footscray’s designated area
zoning for another 12 months. The
decision was made in conjunction
with Victorian Police.
The designated area zoning
allows police to ban any person
from the area for 72 hours, and
can seek court orders to ban
anyone showing repeat drunk and
disorderly behaviour from the area
for 12 months.
Catherine Myers, CEO of
VCGLR, believes that the original
order was successful in reducing
the instances of alcohol-related
violence in the area, and that the
extension for another 12 months
will continue this trend.
BROKEN HEEL IS NO DRAG
For regional pub operators, one of the most pressing issues is how to attract tourists to their
establishment and increase revenue. Esther La Rovere, co-owner of The Palace Hotel, Broken
Hill, has found an interesting solution – create an event around a source of local interest, with
lots of fun and interaction involved.
Built in 1889 as a coffee-house by a temperance society, the Palace Hotel has a colourful
history – literally. In the 1970s, owner Mario and indigenous artist Gordon Waye, painted a series of
murals throughout the hotel, giving it a very unique look. In the early 1990s, the iconic Australian
film, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, was filmed mainly in Broken Hill, with The Palace Hotel used as
the central set throughout filming. Priscilla is still a large part of the culture of Broken Hill and The
Palace today. “The Palace and Priscilla’s history are intertwined,” Esther states.
Coming from an events background, both in Australia and the UK, when Esther and her
partners bought The Palace Hotel in 2009, it was always in the back of her mind to stage a
festival to attract people outside of Broken Hill to the country town, and to The Palace Hotel
Fast forward to 2015 and the inaugural Broken Heel Festival will be held 11-13 September.
The festival will celebrate all things fun, tongue-in-cheek and drag. While the majority of events
will be held at The Palace (ping pong, drag queen shows, parties), events have also been
scheduled in other parts of Broken Hill, making it a showcase of all that the town has to offer.
“Ideally, we are starting a flagship regional event," Esther explains.
For regional pubs, who most feel the pinch of restrictive changes in legislation, creative
revenue solutions are key. “We can already see the impact of legislative and licensing changes to
hotels, so we need to accommodate our patrons in other ways.”
While the Broken Heel Festival may only be held over three days, by drawing more attention
to Broken Hill as a tourist destination, an influx of patrons at The Palace Hotel is definitely on
THE BELLEVUE GETS
Renowned Paddington pub The Bellevue re-opened at the end of July after several months of renovations.
Architectural firm,Humphrey & Edwards was responsible for the re-design, which included major structural
changes and an interior upheaval.
The look of the pub is a modern twist on a traditional pub, with booth areas and double-height ceilings
combined with a bright colour scheme and industrial finishes. There has also been a large focus on dining – not
only has the dining area doubled, but James Metcalf, of Etch and Becasse fame, has also been retained as Executive
Chef. He has created a modern European menu to take pub dining to another level.
Director of The Bellevue, Steven Speed, has found that the refurbishments have really paid off with patrons.”The
locals have really embraced the change and there’s a lot of destination diners coming from outside of the eastern
suburbs to check it out, which is really nice to see,” he said. “There’s no doubt the clientele has increased and I
think that’s because the Bellevue appeals to a few more demographics now. It’s a great spot to come for anything
from a business lunch through to cocktails on a Friday night or some beers as you watch the footy.”
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