Reef Hotel upgrade before council
Reef Hotel upgrade before council

One of Bunbury’s oldest pubs — the Reef Hotel — is set to undergo some major changes if the owners are successful with an application to open a bottleshop, betting agency and kitchen.

The proposal, to change the use of the venue from a ‘‘hotel’’ to ‘‘tavern’’, will go before the Bunbury City Council tonight.

Hotel owner John Blake said it was ‘‘early days’’ in the planning process but if all went to plan, the renovations would begin in the next six to 12 months.

The plans include the construction of a patio and pergola in the beer garden, alterations to the front bar area to include a kitchen and a roofed pergola at the front entrance.

‘‘We have some massive changes planned,’’ he said.

‘‘We hope to open a tapas bar on the corner, where the former sports bar used to be, with cool music and cool people.

‘‘It would be very modern.’’

The owners also hope to open a bottleshop, to the right of the main doors, to cater for the Marlston Hill area with a selection of specialty wines.

Mr Blake said the owners were also looking to repaint the exterior of the building.

Built in 1895, the Reef Hotel has been renamed a number of times and over the years has been known as Gordon’s Hotel, Bunbury Hotel and the Captain Bunbury Hotel.

Mr Blake said the owners, who took over the pub in 2005, had discussed the changes for the past 12 months and were hoping for the council’s full support.

‘‘It is time to evolve our look to become very 2013,’’ he said.

‘‘All going well it should add to the vibrancy of Victoria Street.’’

The building is on the City of Bunbury’s heritage list and the plans will be assessed by the council’s Heritage Committee for its comment.

The Bunbury Police, the Department of Health and the council’s Community Safety Team have objec ted to the proposal on the grounds that it could potentially increase antisocial activity within the CBD and alcohol-related hospital admissions.

The council previously gave permission for the building to be demolished.

A final decision on the matter is expected at next week’s council meeting.

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