ONE of Ballarat’s most historic hotels is being transformed into an upmarket metro-style cafe.
The transformation of The Regent building at the corner of Lydiard and Mair streets is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
In a massive $2.5 million renovation, the building has been gutted and turned into a three-storey fine-dining venue.
It will feature Ballarat’s only roof-top eating and drinking venue from where guests will be able to cast an eye over the entire northern side of Ballarat.
To be renamed Jackson’s – after the first hotel built on the site in 1861 – directors say they are drawing on Ballarat’s rich history.
A grand balcony will again surround the iconic building as it did decades ago.
The Regent co-director , Brian Taylor said he hoped to bring a classy venue to Ballarat, the sort of high-clientele establishment that generally only existed in Melbourne.
“It will be a bit of a shock at the start, I think. It will be something Ballarat has never seen before,” he said.
Scores of tradesmen have been working at the site since October last year and it is hoped the new venue will open in December.
- Be sure to get tomorrow’s edition of The Courier for the Ballarat Extra magazine, which delves into the history of the venue and the remarkable discovery of historic artefacts that were uncovered during the most recent works.