As part of the major refurbishment of the Redbrick Hotel in Brisbane, Hakfoort Group relocated the pub’s gaming room to a more ideal location at the back of the hotel, while also giving it a refresh.

The last time the Woolloongabba pub had a major revamp was almost twenty years ago, but recently the area has undergone some drastic changes. Not only has there been a significant amount of residential and commercial development in the West End area, but several quality hospitality establishments have also made the locale their new home in the last few years. It was time for the Redbrick Hotel to reflect the direction that the rest of the neighbourhood was heading in.

“We were falling behind and we had a very old and tired hotel, that was no longer really relevant and we could see that. Our customers weren’t changing, and as they grew older and moved out, we just weren’t attracting new ones. So it was time to recapitalise back in there and open ourselves up to another market,” explains Albert Hakfoort, CEO.

The ol’ switcheroo

The other main objective of the renovation was to switch the locations of the gaming room and dining area. The previous owners of the hotel had removed the beer garden at the back of the hotel to add a new indoor dining structure, that included the main dining area on a mezzanine level. They had also placed the gaming room at the front of the hotel, hiding the heritage value of the hotel.

“Everything was in the wrong location in order to optimise the offering,” states Paul Coory, head of hospitality, entertainment and leisure at Paynters, who oversaw the hotel’s renovation.

“We decided it was best to put the gaming in the newer, non-heritage part of the hotel, and put the dining in the heritage part of the hotel,”

As gaming areas cannot be viewed from the street, all of the windows of the old gaming room were blacked out, and all of the ornate, heritage detailing was covered up. Hakfoort and Coory wanted to correct this oversight that was “was a bit counterintuitive and which didn’t really showcase the beauty of the building.”

For the most part the swap of the two spaces was quite simple – except for one structural detail in the newer area of the back of the building. As part of the new gaming room, the mezzanine level was removed, however it was discovered that the mezzanine level actually offered horizontal structural support to the newer structure.

“Essentially we had to create a new steel structure to replicate the structural support that the mezzanine floor was providing, so we had to put in a couple of columns and some portal frames,” explains Coory.

The gaming room was then made plush with a red and gold colour scheme and the double-storey high ceilings, painted black. In adhering with gaming trends, a separate entrance was also created for the gaming room, so that punters could enter directly into the offering without having to pass through the rest of the pub.

Business has been doing well since the renovation, and Hakfoort says the feedback he has received from patrons has been nothing but positive.

To read more on the general renovation of the Redbrick Hotel, check out the July issue of Australian Hotelier here.

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