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DESIGN & BUILD
When Jaz Mooney -- born in North Ireland -- first saw the
Grand Central Hotel, it reminded him of the majestic
old pubs in Dublin, imbued with history.
"It's got all those iconic things -- it's got the big roofs,
the big central columns, it's got all the wood features. It's really got
that historical aspect. You go around big Australian cities and you
bump into it very few times, unless it's been manufactured of course,"
The Grand Central Hotel has quite the history, having been built in
1901, as a wing of Central Station's concourse. It started out as the
Refreshment Rooms of the station, and you could have your lunch
and a beer in the hotel and then walk directly onto the platforms
and board a train. Since then the hotel has had many incarnations
and operators. Mooney's Pelathon Management Group is the latest,
having purchased the leasehold off Drinx Group in December 2015.
But as a savvy businessman, it was more than just sentiment that
convinced Mooney that it was a good buy.
"It's a good balanced business, with gaming, food and beverage,
and a boutique bottleshop in the centre of Brisbane. It's a long-term
rental from Queensland Rail that we felt was value for money. And
we felt there was a genuine case for improvement of business [with]
the numbers that go through Central Station, and its redevelopment."
Not having had an upgrade in twenty years, the team at Pelathon
PELATHON SPENT ROUGHLY
$1 MILLION ON THE GRAND
CENTRAL HOTEL REVAMP,
AND HAVE ALREADY SEEN A 25
PER CENT INCREASE IN TRADE.
knew that the heritage-listed hotel would need a refresh. The group
operated the pub for a year to get an idea of the venue, before moving
forward with a renovation.
With heritage status comes restrictions, and Mooney just wanted to
spruce up the hotel, emphasise its history, and ensure that the pub was
welcoming to everyone coming through the train station.
"We're not one of these pubs that says we're going for the
businesspeople. Stations revolve around people from all demographics,
from all walks of life and we believe that this pub is the extension of that."
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Pelathon enlisted the services of Rachael Brennan at Inaspace
Architecture & Design, a firm that has worked on several heritage
"It just needed a real facelift to bring it back to what it should have been
-- this beautiful heritage listed building with beautiful columns and pressed
metal ceilings and all the timber wall panelling," explains Brennan.
While working with a heritage-listed building can be off-putting due
to the restrictions as to what can be done, Mooney says that Queensland
Rail and Queensland Heritage were very supportive of the endeavour.
"They wanted to see it restored, and they hoped we would do a good
job. I think we've done an excellent job in that department, where we've
preserved and enhanced all that was already there."
The revamp was done in two stages: the first being the overhaul of the
main bar, gaming room and TAB facilities; the second was the platform
bar, which is a smaller cocktail bar room at one end of the pub.
In the main bar, all that was needed was a good spruce-up of the
structure and an upgrade of the furniture for a classier look. Walls
were given a fresh coat of paint in a shade that was close to the original
creamy white colour that could be found, and the columns were painted
black. The back bar was redone with an antique-looking mirror tile, and
reeded glass panelling and subway tiling was added to the kitchen. The
timber floors were treated and big chunky furniture pieces were added.
The mixture of dark timber and studded leather gives the space a very
traditional and masculine feel.
"It's just become a more pleasant, nicer venue, without dissuading
tradies to come in, without going totally up-market. It's just a
comfortable place to come and watch sport, talk to people, have a bite to
eat. It's a value for money proposition all round,"says Mooney.
Value for money is a big driver
at Grand Central Hotel
warmth to the
Wall art by
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