Is The Camfield in Perth Australia’s biggest pub? Every number attached to this beast of a venue suggests it is…

The new Burswood Precinct, including the brand new Optus Stadium, officially opened at the beginning of the year. The only external F&B offering of the area is new mega-pub, The Camfield. Operated by Three Pound Group – owners of successful Perth venues The Stables, The Revely and The Globe – The Camfield is the product of four years of planning.

The opportunity to build the new precinct’s only F&B venue was attached as part of the build of the new stadium. When Multiplex won the tender to build the new stadium, the hospitality operator they had lined up for the project pulled out, opening up the opportunity for Three Pound Group to create something on a grand scale.

General manager Tim McLernon jumped at the chance to take on the project – an opportunity he knew most operators would never even be able to fathom, especially at its projected size.

“[I was] excited and extremely nervous, to be honest! It was a very daunting thing to take on – a 9000 sqm site, the knowledge that you’re the only hospitality site right next to the stadium. If you’re going to be in bars, this kind of opportunity comes up maybe once in a lifetime: to open a 3000-person bar right next to a $1.5 billion stadium, two kilometres from the CBD.”

The new Optus Stadium and surrounding precinct was built on a former golf course, with the land owned by VenuesWest, the sporting venues vehicle for the State Government. The Camfield site was located where the old clubhouse and three other buildings for the golf course were situated. The clubhouse was knocked down to make way for The Camfield, while the other three buildings were gutted and repurposed to serve as a function centre and storerooms for the pub.

Event/non-event days

With 46 events – mainly sporting matches and concerts – taking place at Optus Stadium per calendar year, trade at maximum capacity is all but guaranteed for The Camfield on those days. Three Pound Group has focused on ensuring that the pub’s offering makes it a viable hospitality destination on days where nothing is on at the stadium. McLernon has drawn on his experience with other venues to create a mega-pub that attracts every kind of demographic – from families, 18-25 year olds, craft beer lovers and everything in between.

“We already own bars around the city so I guess we know the market pretty well. Certainly in Perth large venues with large outdoor areas right on the water tend to do pretty well, you’ve just got to make sure you have a really good food and drink offering and that you get all the basics right.”

The major components of The Camfield include six bars; a massive courtyard area which includes a container bar, big screen and terrace; a microbrewery; and a separate function centre. But with so much space to play with, Three Pound Group were able to include everything on its hospitality wish list in the venue.

“Because it’s such a big site, we really got to put into it all of the things you want to put into a bar but maybe don’t have enough room for. So we’ve got pizza ovens, a kids’ play area, a massive standalone function centre. We’ve got our own microbrewery and we’ve got a huge screen in the outdoor area,” states McLernon.

This is an excerpt from a feature on The Camfield first published in the current issue of Australian Hotelier. To continue reading, click here.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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