The Adelaide institution of the Austral Hotel on Rundle Street is undergoing a major renovation by its new Tenants, led by Brettski Stewart. And we think it’s just the innovation that we need to see across retail and hospitality to businesses to keep them thriving in the omni-channel world.
The previous tenants, Austral Hotel (SA) Pty Ltd, left the premises following a long and public lease dispute. During the dispute the previous tenants argued that, as a matter of mistaken fact or law, they reimbursed the landlord land tax through the outgoings. This is a recovery that would be prevented under the Retail and Commercial Leases Act that governs South Australia. The landlord argue that there was unpaid rent, amongst other breaches, and therefore the previous tenants did not meet the preconditions to exercise the option to renew the term. The new Tenants have entered into a 30 year lease with the landlord, so the Austral Hotel is here to stay!
The new plans for the hotel will feature three distinct areas. Importantly, each of those three areas will have distinctive atmospheres, providing the new Publicans with the opportunity to target multiple demographics, securing an expansive customer base.
So, what is it?
Stewart described the space that he is creating in conjunction with his private investors.
We’re keeping the same feel downstairs, keeping the wooden bar and doing it up behind the bar to make it a bit more modern.
The old Bunker we’re calling the ‘Gala Room’, putting in floor to ceiling curtains, making it more into a theatrical space where we’ll have bands and DJs.
And upstairs we’re transforming the space into a Japanese-style listening room – a bar, cafe where we’ll feature albums on an audiophile sound system – and a dedicated function space.
The Japanese-style listening room will be the first of its kind in Adelaide, but have been around since the 1950’s in Japan. Also known in America as ‘HI-Fi rooms’, it’s where records are played on equipment that costs the same amount as small car in rooms that are acoustically designed. There is no dance floor. No night club vibes. And some ban talking. It is a listening destination experience, complete with record menus and individualised equipment manifests. You’re to immerse yourself in the act of listening, and by all accounts, it provides some pretty spectacular results.
Music critic and journalists Ben Ratliff says:
When you hear a record in detail, you can feel lunar tidal pull of music and the physicality of the people making it.
When can you go to the new Austral Hotel?
The Austral Hotel refurbishment is due for completion in the first part of 2021, and will cost approximately $400,000.00.
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