Home' Australian Hotelier : AH December 2016 Contents 22 | DECEMBER 2016 AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER
ith home entertainment
equipment becoming more
inexpensive, publicans have to
find new ways to entice groups to
socialise at their venues, rather than at home.
Entertainment is key, whether it be live music,
a DJ, and trivia nights, to offerings more
subtle such as sports and music videos on the
big screen, and a curated playlist that sets the
Noise regulations and/or compliance
have encroached dramatically on late-night
entertainment for many pubs across the
country, especially in Sydney, where the lockout
laws have seen fewer people frequent late-night
precincts, which in turn means operators are
spending less on entertainment, an expense that
is easy to cut out.
But while the live music scene in Sydney
has been declared dead, there are a few small
venues and savvy larger operators that have
taken advantage of the supposed demise of
entertainment to offer a more dynamic offering.
BUILDING A COMMUNITY
The Newport, the latest pub from Merivale to
be crowned Hotel of the Year at the Australian
Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA), is experiencing
its first summer under the group’s operation.
To take full advantage of the pub’s positon on
Sydney’s northern beaches, Merivale have put
together a daily program of activities to run
across every day of the week.
The program is designed to bring together
groups and garner a local community feel,
where all are welcome to partake and be
entertained with a distinct Newport feel.
There are traditional forms of entertainment
included, such as live music playing on
Thursday evenings from 5-8pm. Not only does
this cater to the after-work crowd, but the
Thursday night line-up focuses on young local
artists, backed up by the house band.
Films are also shown on a big screen at the
venue on Monday and Tuesday nights. The first
night of the week is reserved for Hollywood
classics and family favourites, while Tuesday
night is for local surfing fans, with modern and
classic surf films screened.
Other, less traditional forms of pub
entertainment at The Newport include group
physical activities. The Breathe program
runs on Monday morning at The Newport,
with a Run Club taking in the surrounding
coastal area. There is also yoga on the deck,
or stand up paddle-boarding sessions with
Ironman Kendrick Louis in the sheltered bay
area. Participants in these activities can then
finish off their athletic sessions with a bowl of
granola and a coffee from the kiosk.
Justin Hemmes, CEO of Merivale, has said
that the transformation of the pub within the
last eight months has been spectacular, and
that this entertainment program will add to
the pub’s appeal.
“The venue has really found its soul,
its beating heart. Now, with a jam-packed
calendar of daily experiences, live music events
and the exceptional talent of Jordan Toft
in the kitchen, we are set for a phenomenal
first summer at one of the most spectacular
locations this country has to offer.”
These sessions are run free of charge as
they bring a lot of good will to the venue. For
Merivale, they encourage locals to spend more
time within the venue – which generally leads
to more spend – but they also engender a sense
community, with The Newport at its hub.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
While the live music scene within pubs has
died down in the last two years, some smaller
operators are taking advantage of the general
lack of pub gigs to capitalise on the shortfall. The
Chippo Hotel, on the outskirts of the Sydney
CBD, recently underwent a transformation of
the venue, including the installation of $75,000
worth of new audio equipment for its semi-
underground space, called The Den.
“We’ve had a Nexo system installed. It’s
not a huge system but it packs a punch and
suits the room well with a low lying roof and
concrete floor,” states Simon Parsons, who
looks after The Den.
“The system we have in place with four
speakers surrounding and quality subs has
allowed for us to showcase a very diverse range
of high calibre artists.”
The range includes everything from local and
American hip hop artists, alternative and punk
rock artists and soulful pop songstresses.
“We’ve had local bands sell out the space
to international hip hop artists and many
DJ parties,” says Parsons. “For example this
month we will see Nina Las Vegas showcase
her label’s best electronic artists.”
Patrons are looking for more live music gigs,
and the artists are in need of space to play; and
spaces like The Den at The Chippo Hotel are
capitalising on this supply and demand problem.
Within weeks of refurbishing the space – in early
A PUB IS MANY THINGS. NOT ONLY IS IT A SOCIAL GATHERING PLACE
FOR ONE AND ALL, IT PROVIDES AN F&B OFFERING. BUT A GREAT PUB WILL ALSO KEEP YOU ENTERTAINED.
SCREENS, SOUND AND ENTERTAINMENT
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