COUNCILLORS will this week vote on two upmarket redevelopments in Ballarat’s CBD, heralding a new direction for the nightclub precinct.
The old Max Roberts Electrical store on Doveton Street North is set to become an urban cellar door, while the George Hotel is applying for a three-storey addition that would see the establishment of a public laneway inspired by Melbourne’s Hardware Lane.
City of Ballarat councillors will vote on both proposals at a council meeting tomorrow.
It follows the first stage of the redevelopment at the George, which is now home to the Ballarat RSL sub-branch, as well as series of hotel and pub upgrades across the city including at the Bunch of Grapes, the Mallow and Lake View Hotel.
If council votes in favour of the proposal put forward by Mitchell Harris Wines, 38 Doveton Street North will become a wine bar and cellar door with a licence extending to 11pm.
According to the council agenda, the premises would incorporate a lounge area, bar and retail shop, allowing for on and off premises liquor sales.
The redevelopment would limit alterations to the heritage facade while providing outdoor space for four sets of tables and chairs, and the re-use or refurbishment of the original timber bi-fold doors.
Mitchell Harris Wines business partner Shannyn Harris said the aim was to bring the traditional model of the cellar door to the city.
“We’re a family-based business, we’ve all grown up in Ballarat and we’re really excited about bringing the food and wine market up another notch,” she said.
But Ms Harris said upholding the heritage of the building was also important.
“We are really keen to maintain and highlight the historic aspect of the building with exposed brick walls and a bluestone warehouse area,” she said.
Councillors will also vote on alterations and part demolition to the site next to the George Hotel, which would see a three-storey development and associated public thoroughfare.
The proposed extension would house a deli to the front, and a retail and cafe area at the rear, the report says.
Outdoor seating and dining would be available, while the first floor would comprise a gym, swimming pool and four hotel rooms with ensuites.
George Hotel proprietor Gary Browning was not available for comment yesterday.