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New-look Hotel Jesmond finds success with locals and industry

Hotel Jesmond's Daniel Ferguson

Two years after it began, a massive project to overhaul and re-invent Hotel Jesmond is finally complete.

According to hotelier Dan Ferguson, despite spending the past two years living upstairs with his young family while a major renovation project took place, the outcome has been well worth the dirt, dust and debris - especially when the final product has been nominated as a finalist in six categories of this year's Australian Hotels Association Awards for Excellence.

"Long days with the builders and the process has been pretty hard, but looking at the final product I couldn't be happier," Dan said.

"It's been a long time coming, but the outcome is everything we could have hoped for."

Having come into the hotel four years ago, Dan said venue owners Harris and Narvo Hotels had always been planning the renovation once sister venue the Bayview Hotel at Woy Woy - which won last year's AHA NSW Regional Hotel of the Year Award was complete.

"The plan was always to transform this venue into something that would provide value and attract a wider demographic of our local market," Dan said.

"We wanted something open and airy with a lot of natural light because the old pub had a lot of low ceilings and bulkheads. It was dark and segmented and our food offering, having been a Chinese restaurant for so long, was not catering to a wider market."

"We wanted something open and airy with a lot of natural light because the old pub had a lot of low ceilings and bulkheads..."

The new-look hotel could be described as urban industrial, with a number of stand-out features including a spectacular beer garden, and bright open-plan eating and bar area complete with an elegant wood-finish bar and opulent draping greenery.

"The feedback from our local community has been fantastic," Dan said.

"The positive response has also been reflected in patronage and we are definitely attracting a more diverse range of customer now. We still have a strong patronage from the university, local, and blue-collar market because we have created a great new sports bar and still have all their favourite beers on tap.