Updated: Feb 7, 2018
A venue the bay could be proud of with live music, summer atmosphere and a diverse interior.
That was the goal of a $7 million overhaul of Shoal Bay Country Club, according to licensee Peter Trenaman.
“The bay has been crying out for a venue like this for decades,” he said.
“The renovation has seen the entire hotel gutted and rebuilt. We now have a chill out area, a sports bar, a beach bar and a restaurant upstairs.
“There’s a lot of different areas, providing a range of choice for where people want to go and together it culminates into the perfect venue.”
Mr Trenaman described the new style and interior design as being ‘sympathetic to the 50s and 60s’ with a touch of modern chic.
“Owner Andrew Lazarus wanted to encapsulate the 50s and 60s style of the original Shoal Bay Country Club, so there are features resemblant of the original timber and tiling. There are also collections of old black and white photos on the walls that were taken back in that era.”
While the style of the venue pays homage to its origins, there is also an unmistakable Hamptons elegance to the interior design, providing an eclectic mix of the old and the new in a way that just works.
Cane furniture mixed and lush planters, together with ‘that view’, transport patrons into what feels a lot like the iconic endless summer.
And as a result, business is booming.
“We exceeded our expectations over the holiday period,” Mr Trenaman said.
“We had a massive summer.
“Being a coastal tourism town, often a lot of the locals choose to stay away during the summer, but since we’ve opened up all they started coming down as well so we had locals, plus tourists, which was incredible.”
While the new atmosphere at the hotel is already proving to be a success, Mr Trenaman said the plan going forward would also include a resurgence of pub rock in the bay area.
“Our plan was always to make Saturday night band night,” Mr Trenaman said.
“It will be geared towards the over 35s and that means pub rock.”
With a vision to see live bands play every Saturday night, along with a headline act once per month, the plan kicked off in January with an appearance by ionic Aussie rock band, the Radiators.
“It was huge, bigger than New Year’s Eve and Australia Day,” Mr Trenaman said.
“We had about 1600 people here and it worked really well.”
Mr Trenaman said the live music strategy was in keeping with the hotel’s heritage with bands having played regularly at the hotel throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s.