A prominent pub which created shock waves after its sudden closure earlier this year is likely to re-open as a light-filled, luxurious eatery.
The North Star Hotel at 302 Lydiard Street North – formerly Seymours on Lydiard until its closure in July – is the subject of a new planning application to create a Melbourne-inspired outdoor bar area and glass atrium.
A weatherboard and iron section behind the heritage hotel will be demolished, to make way for new eating areas and an outdoor upstairs bar overlooking Seymour Street.
A new sunken dining area on the ground floor with indoor feature trees will be directly below a glass pyramid-shaped atrium, located inside the original building on the first floor.
The new designs were created by Ballarat firm TR Design for the Lydiard Street building's owner, Brett Quinlan, who co-owns the Lake View Hotel.
iPlanning Services Pty Ltd director James Iles, who acts on behalf of the owner and developer, said the new building would feed in to the current revitalisation of the area ahead of the Ballarat Station Redevelopment.
“The whole intent is to breathe new life into the pub, get it operating again,” he said. “The mezzanine is directed toward providing more light into the pub, with some outdoor areas which will provide that sort of opportunity for people to have a drink outside.”
“There’s a number of new restaurants and cafes within cooee of the railway line, and it’s another opportunity for Soldiers Hill to become the new Fitzroy of Ballarat.”
Mr Iles said his company had already launched into lengthy discussions with City of Ballarat planning staff before lodging the application.
The proposal’s wood and glass aesthetic was modeled off trendy Melbourne bars such as the lush multi-level Garden State Hotel on Flinders Lane in Melbourne.
The North Star Hotel has a connection to one of Ballarat’s most famous former residents, with actor Bill Hunter’s parents once publicans of the venue.
The planning application for the redevelopment is now on advertising through City of Ballarat, with permits required before the redesign goes ahead.
Mr Quinlan was approached for comment but did not respond before deadline.
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