Change is afoot at Lloyds Hotel, and at a hectic pace too.
New licencee James Napier stands comfortably amongst the pre-launch chaos of an old building that has only had one week to be completely overhauled.
The smell of paint is still fresh, and Mr Napier notes the old timber bar has been painstakingly stripped back from layers of dark blue paint through “many 3am nights”.
Previously home of the Hype bar and nightclub, it’s clear that Lloyds is returning to something a little more familiar to the building’s 1880s heritage, with rich green walls and previously painted-over windows rediscovered.
“It’s the revival of the old hotel, changing it back to Lloyds Hotel … and having the Greenwood Bar downstairs as a combination cocktail lounge,” Mr Napier said.
“We’ve just officially got the kitchen approved, and I’m currently revamping the backpackers upstairs.”
Mr Napier has taken on the overhaul of Lloyds as a chance to create something he couldn’t find anywhere else in Launceston.
“We’ve got opportunities for people to sit down and have a quiet drink, have a small meal, we’re focusing on shared food,” he said.
The menu of well-priced sliders, chips and chicken wings is just the start as Mr Napier and his new chef plan to expand the menu in the future.
And the cocktail menu is a work in progress, ready for changes as customers give feedback.
“We’ve stuck with old-fashioned classics, like martinis, Blue Lagoons and a few others, and depending on what we get asked for, we’ll change it up,” Mr Napier said.
Backpacker accommodation with “comfortable, cheap beds” will be reopened on December 7.
A large function room will be brought back into service upstairs in the next twelve months, with plans to eventually have a restaurant upstairs as well.
The official launch is on Saturday night, starting at 7pm, with the Something Different Variety Show kicking off Lloyds’ new life.
“The bar will be for people to come and relax and enjoy themselves, while outside we’ll have live music on Friday and Saturday, and any and every band is welcome,” Mr Napier said.
“I like it being eclectic: everyone has a different music taste.
“I want to make this a home for everybody.”
- The grand opening of Greenwood Bar, Lloyds Hotel, Saturday November 26 starts at 7pm, $5 at the door.