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Tuesday 9 August 2022

Newcastle to gain a hip new venue

Newcastle's transformation continues with the imminent reopening of the Lucky Hotel in the city's East End.

Not only does the hotel have a new fit-out, it will also have Gordon Ramsay-trained chef Stephen Scott manning the pans.

The Lucky Hotel, once known as The Oxford, is now operated by Sydney pub group Tilley and Wills, who also runs the Greenwood in North Sydney, The Buena in Mosman, the Paddington Arts Factory, Richmond Inn and Cabana Bar.

The launch party will be held on September 8 and the big reveal is embargoed until then, but I did manage to source one image (above).

Exposed bricks will pay homage to the Lucky's past - the hotel dates back to 1880 - while new concrete structures will lead to what is promised to be "one of the best beer gardens in the country" with a three-storey atrium and living green wall.

The revitalisation has been curated by interior designer Sandy Grice, who has worked for Merivale, QT and Pullman Resorts.

“We wanted our guests - whether repeat visitors or new - to feel familiar with the venue but also provide a lot of surprises," says general manager Drew Parsons.

"We took a lot of influence from photographer Slim Aarons to the Racquet Club from 1930’s Palm Springs. There is something new behind every door, a lot to look at and a lot of fun."

Acquired by Sydney businessman Martin Scott in early 2022, The Lucky will have a gourmet focus.

“We seek out the best pubs in great locations and basically do a number on them," says Tilley & Wills CEO Nick Wills.

"We add our touch which means great food, excellent drinks lists, and hire the best people in the business. This site gave us the perfect foray into creating Sydney-style pub hospitality in regional NSW’s largest city.”

Chef Scott spent several years in London working under Gordon Ramsay where he started as sous chef at The Warrington in Maida Vale, progressing through the ranks to Claridge’s then into Maze Grill in Mayfair.

Scott returned to Australia in 2016 to head up Matt Kemp’s new kitchen at the Charring Cross Hotel before moving across to the Matt Moran stable as head chef at The Paddington Inn.

“I was attracted by the vision of the team and new owners wanting to move beyond standard pub grub and offer something more akin to our contemporary capital city and international gastro-pubs," he says.

"We have some of the best produce in the country on our doorstep and we intend on showcasing it."

Wills adds: “It seems like in the blink of an eye this part of the city of Newcastle has just been totally transformed, it’s bustling with cool restaurants, bars, cafes, delis, hip hotels." 

The accommodation comprises 30 guest suites with courtyard or city views, all with updated en-suite bathrooms.

The hotel will be open seven days a week with the kitchen and garden courtyard open for lunch and dinner.


Image: A sneak peek through the curtains from a room looking into the courtyard. David Griffen Photography. 

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