Print Hall plans to renew Raffles
New look: CLG wants to turn Raffles into iconic south of the river venue. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

The company behind the award-winning Print Hall is working on a multimillion-dollar plan to transform the Raffles Hotel into "an iconic south of the river venue".

Colonial Leisure Group, which also owns the Royal in East Perth and Margaret River's Colonial Brewing Company, is finalising plans for the Applecross tavern to go before the City of Melville council.

CLG State manager Vern Fogarty is tight-lipped about the plan but said it would breathe new life into the "popular and historic venue" while respecting its Art Deco facade.

"It's still a very successful business but we think it's time to re-establish the Raffles as an iconic south of the river venue," Mr Fogarty said.

Colonial enlisted Projects of Imagination, the company behind its Print Hall refurbishment, to do the design work.

"We understand not only the social significance of the Raffles, but the heritage significance," Mr Fogarty said.

"Our track record converting Print Hall into a renewed space showcasing the heritage features of that building is the same path we wish to pursue with the Raffles because it's such a showpiece.

"We want to make sure we do justice to the building."

The project is still in the consultancy phase but, like Print Hall, the revamped Raffles is expected to feature a variety of food and beverage offerings. Print Hall was named WA's hospitality venue of the year by the Australian Hotels Association last year.

Colonial owner Chris Morris, founder of Computershare, bought the heritage-listed Raffles from Perth restaurateur Ian Love in 2009.

The tavern, which has a lounge bar, liquor store and the Deco restaurant, was built in 1896 as Canning Bridge Hotel.

It was remodelled by renowned WA architect William G. Bennett and renamed after the famous Singaporean hotel.

The Raffles Liquor Merchants will hold a closing down sale this weekend.

The space will be the building site office during renovations which, pending council approval, are expected to take several months and be ready next summer.

The West Australian

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