There’s something brewing underneath Sebastiaans Cafe and Bar.
The popular Ballarat restaurant at 60 Lydiard Street North is set to open the doors to its historic basement public use for the first time.
A planning permit and liquor licence application to convert the space into a function centre is awaiting approval from the Ballarat City Council.
Councillors will vote on the estimated $30,000 revamp of the 1800s basement at a council meeting on Wednesday evening.
Owner Nigel Burgess told The Courier the idea was on the agenda since the beginning of the year.
“We had the vacant space so we thought we may as well do something with it,” Mr Burgess said.
“We figured we may as well utilise and share it with the community because there is a bit of a call for an events space like that in Ballarat.”
“There are so many social clubs in town and this offers a unique space which is not only very private but located in the centre of the city.”
Mr Burgess said the space would be an eclectic mesh of old and new.
“It (the basement) has two parts,” Mr Burgess said. “One section is a little bit more modern and the other part is still just old beams and rafters.”
“It used to be the old Niven and Co Printers back in the day so that’s why (the space) is known as the Printer’s Room. We want to keep as many of those historic elements as we can.”
Mr Burgess said the walls of the space will be decorated with old newspaper clippings dating back to the 1800s.
“People have signed their names on some of the old beams with signatures dating back to 1891 so that’s been incorporated into the design,” Mr Burgess. “We want to keep it open and original.”
If plans are approved, Mr Burgess has visions of using the space as an event venue hosting anything from 18th and 21st birthday parties to community fundraisers.
“All events will be highly regulated,” Mr Burgess said
The application proposed to vary the cafe and restaurant liquor licence to allow for the use of the basement area as a function centre.
Maximum capacity at the cafe is 100 patrons, however, the new space would allow for a further 100 people to fit inside the building. Mr Burgess hoped to unveil it by early October.
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