Updated: Dec 7, 2019
Making the iconic Exchange Hotel at Hamilton into Newcastle's biggest and best live music venue is the number one goal of owners Eastern Hotel Group, who took over the pub three years ago along with Shoal Bay Country Club, and their most recent acquisition The Beach Hotel at Merewether.
After identifying a gap in the market in terms of large-capacity, dedicated music venues within the Newcastle CBD and surrounds, the team at Eastern Hotels Group set to work planning how they could provide the very best live music venue Newcastle could ask for.
"We understand the importance of live music in Newcastle and from Monday 20, January 2020 we will be closing down the venue to carry out a $6 million renovation," hotel spokesperson Sally Codyre said.
"When the hotel re-opens in mid-2020, we imagine it will be Newcastle's premier live music space.
"There will be live music over multiple nights every week, including everything from local groups and artists, to national touring acts spanning multiple genres."
Renovation plans include incorporating areas currently dedicated to gaming and car-parking, to create a dedicated live music space downstairs, along with an upstairs live music viewing area, VIP mezzanine level, and cocktail bar. There will also be an elevator installed for accessibility.
"We have put a lot of work into making sure we create the best live music space possible," Sally said.
Renovation plans include incorporating areas currently dedicated to gaming and car-parking, to create a dedicated live music space downstairs, along with an upstairs live music viewing area, VIP mezzanine level, and cocktail bar. There will also be an elevator installed for accessibility...
And if the music offering wasn't enough, the new-look Exchange will also offer two bars, a pub-style space for casual dining and relaxing, while upstairs will offer an Italian-themed restaurant complete with wood-fire pizza and authentic pasta.
"We are bringing in Italian cuisine specialists to assist our chefs in creating the food offering, and the kitchen will provide viewing opportunities for patrons to see our chefs hand-crafting pasta for our dishes," Sally said.
"We know Hamilton is synonymous with Italian cuisine and we want to honour the flavour of our local neighbourhood by having an authentic food offering."
And, if you're interested in bagging yourself a souvenir or piece of furniture from the venue before it closes, the hotel will also be holding an onsite garage sale open to the public on Saturday, 11 January.
The new-look Exchange Hotel is expected to open its doors mid-2020.