development news

The Watervale Hotel is half way through three distinct stages of development over a two year period.

In the first stage we have renovated the front bar, bar dining rooms and private dining rooms, as well as turned our veranda into an outdoor dining space. We have respectfully and tastefully renovated in a style  that reflects rural Australia in the 1920’s and 1930’s. We have taken the floor back to the original Baltic pine boards and added to the pressed tin installed during this period.

As part of this stage we have built new cool rooms and a keg room that will keep kegs cool and pouring well 365 days a year. We are offering wonderful sharing plates in the Front Bar, on the veranda out the front of the hotel, in two new private dining rooms, and in the Hotel dining room during this stage. 

We have begun the re-development the outside area behind the Hotel into a large beer and wine garden with an all new glass fronted kitchen.

The new kitchen will be opened before March 2020 and will feature:

-A kitchen bar that can be used for in kitchen dining, training or cooking schools.

-A dedicated preparation kitchen that will also be used to produce Penobscot Farm produce.

-A dessert and pastry section.

-A mains section that will explore various styles of international food.

-A scullery that will separate waste into chook food, dog food, compost, recyclable waste and non-recyclable waste.

In January and February 2020 this kitchen will service the current Hotel dining spaces whilst we renovate the old kitchen into a bar, and landscape the beer garden.

We will open the Beer Garden in Autumn 2020 and operate as an outdoor Hotel as we complete the inside renovation before winter.

This will allow us to refurbish the Pub restaurant, and a walk in wine cellar / bottle shop adjacent to the dining room due to be opened in Winter 2020. The entire Hotel renovation is due for completion in early October 2020.

Regions SA is a major supporter of the project, particularly our plan to use the new kitchen and dining room as a training venue. We look forward to hiring and training cooking apprentices, as well as training hospitality staff in food service and wine.

Freezer and Coolrooms

Nick Gunn of GMF Coolrooms built our Freezer and Kitchen Coolroom.. 

Attention to detail

When local musician Andy Czora isn’t representing Australia in Nashville at the global blues and roots festival he can be found at the Watervale Hotel masterfully fitting tiles and screeding the floors. . 

There’s a kitchen under there!

Stratco roofing chosen to match the roof of the main hotel building has been fitted over the new kitchen area. . 

Veranda Roof

This giant roofing frame was built by Greg Bryksy and his Exact Cut team only a few hundred metres from the Watervale Hotel. 

The ‘Engine Room’

The new keg room is a major part of the renovation. It keeps kegs at between 6 to 8 degrees all year around. With the latest technology i9nstalled by Lancer the Watervale Hotel will reliably serve cold clean crisp beer. 

Comfortable grandeur

These chesterfield armchairs are the epitome of dining luxury.  The little hand carved Chinese table has six pull out chairs that allow Children to share meals.

Cosy places

We have created a number of spaces and environments to suit different moods or occasions. These old chairs bought at Scammell’s Auctions provide an intimate place to chat drink and enjoy our bar menu. 

Let there be light

This skylight has always been there, but with the pressed metal cleaned and painted gloss white light is channeled in from the heavens. 

Dining Room

Nicola has done a brilliant job as interior designer converting what was a dark and uninviting space into a thing of beauty. 

Warm Greeting

Patrons entering from the North Terrace entrance are warmly greeted by space, colour and warmth.  Fireplaces were supplied by Clewers Betta Living in Clare.

Feature Light Fittings

Gorgeous plaster ceramic light fittings were sourced from Mica in Melbourne. 

New Front Bar​

The relocation of the front bar to the western end of the bar has created so much more space. 

New Ceilings

Adelaide Pressed Metal supplied and fitted the new bar ceilings. This design was chosen for the middle section which was once the ‘Ladies Bar’.

The door is gone!

Great stone-masonry by Sommerville Masoinary Services filled in the old door that provided access to the men’s urinal from the front bar. This restored the old girl to former glory. We used stone recovered from an old church in Halbury.

New Lounge and Dining area

Almost done. Baltic pine floors prepared by Quick’s of Manoora.  Painting by Jordan Hauke. Bar by DB Renovations, Adelaide Pressed Metal, CHES bar-fitters, and Mack’s Cabinets.

Feature lightfittings

The M R Electrix team re-wired the entire hotel as part of this renovation. Fitting the feature lights was not that easy.  The curved cocktail or wine bar is a feature of the new lounge and dining area.

Amazing transformation

Adelaide Pressed Metal supplied the tin for both the new ceiling painted gloss white, as well as the tin on the new bar. The pressed metal on the bar was painted blue, then over-painted back and gold. The jarrah tops and kick-boards were produced and installed by Mack’s Cabinets of Balaclava. 

New Bar takes Shape

The new bar has been installed in the western end of the front bar. . 

Layer upon layer

When the floor was removed under the old bar we found the original floorboards a foot below the current floor. This floor was raised in 1983.

Two fireplaces removed

Back to back fireplaces were removed from the front bar and dining room to make way for a new double sided unit.

Floor replacement

We removed the old carpet with a view to using the existing Baltic pine floorboards. Whilst most of the floorboards were amazingly good, we found areas that needed replacement. Damion found old boards that did the trick.

Trenching for the plumbing

Simon Byles, Plumber had quite a bit of digging to do for the plumbing. This trench would be needed for beer and post-mix pipes as well as water and waste. 

Graffiti exposed

We found old graffiti behind the o9ld bar. Funnily enough many of the artists from the early 1980’s still drink at the Watervale Hotel. This photo shows the new door opening that is to be created between  the front bar and lounge.

Where has the Front Bar gone?

The old front bar came out very quickly and the bar area was prepared by cutting a new door opening between the new front bar and what will become the garden bar.

The Demolition of the Dining Room and Front bar

Matt from DB Renovations started the demolition by removing the fireplace mantle in the dining room.

Framework being installed

Our close Watervale neighbours Exact Cut supplied the steel framework whilst the carpentry has been expertly installed by Clare Valley local Dennis Channon and his team.

New Footprint​

This shows the size of the new kitchen, cool rooms, and storage for our new hotel. The Beer Garden will sit between the hotel, the Gaol and Toilet Block, and the kitchen. 

The Beer Garden ?​

Well it will be the Beer Garden. The structure to the left and rear will be the new toilet block.  The ‘Hell Hole’ is being renovated into a private dining room. A new door has been created for staff entry and a new toilet is being installed for Gaol ‘patrons’. 

Rain Delays​

Building in winter has its complications.

Toilet Block​

The framework for the new toilet block took no time build once the foundation was down.

90 Tonnes of Concrete

The concrete slab was a great milestone but the infrastructure below the surface is amazing. There are conduits for beer lines from the cool store to new bar, storm-water drains, waste water pipes, electricity cables, hot and cold water and gas pipes installed to a plan prepared by Greg Pulford Architects and managed by Dan Palmer of Terra Firma. 

Re-enforcing Steel​

Attention to detail is critical when preparing to pour concrete.

Retaining Walls​

Terra Firma installed retaining walls along the new boundary between the Watervale Hotel and 3 North Terrace. This adjoining property has been acquired and will become the Watervale  Hotel Guesthouse. 

Terra Rossa over Limestone​

As we cut into the Watervale earth and dug deep for foundations we discovered classic Watervale Terra Rossa over Limestone, with Bluestone beneath.

Exposing Old Beauty​

The Watervale Hotel is a beautiful old charmer. We aim to treat her with utmost respect as we bring her back to former glory. We stripped away old carpet to find orange vinyl, and under that were amazing Baltic pine boards.

The Purple Room

Within months of new ownership this empty old accommodation room was transformed into a private dining room. Inspiration for the colour scheme came from the furniture bought at Scammells Auctions. The art is by Watervale local celebrity Harry Sherwin.

Front Bar Renovation

Stainless Steel from Watervale craftsmen Exact Cut was a wonderful finishing touch to the temporary bar renovation.  

New Verandah Bar

The first thing we did when we bought the Watervale Hotel was to remove the old Beer and Wine signs. We then commissioned local Andy Gallagher to build a veranda bar. What was once a walkway to the men’s urinal has become a wonderful dining area for 24. 

New Grease Trap and Waste Management System

Terra Firma and Hydroscape combined under the guidance of Clare’s MACE Engineetring to install a waste management system that would allow us to grow from a license of 100 tocapacity for 400 patrons. 

Watervale Hotel is open:

11am – late 7 days.

Our kitchen offers all day dining:

11am – 9pm 7 days

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