Looks who’s back!

The historic Guildford Hotel, gutted and all but destroyed by fire nearly eight years ago, will officially reopen its doors next Thursday.


Yesterday, the first cold beer was poured at the hotel since that night in September 2008.

It was served to The West Australian at the end of an exclusive tour of the finished, fully restored 130-year-old building.

A key element of the project was to retain much of the hotel’s original fabric as possible.

Giant jarrah roof beams that survived the fire have been given a high-gloss finish and feature in the downstairs bar.

Original tiles, fireplaces, doors, windows and a sink have been retained and convict-made bricks have been highlighted.

Even the 2008 fire still has a presence. Charred beams, timber and bricks are evident.

Other features include a retractable roof, an upstairs whisky and gin bar, 18 different beers on tap, Swan Valley wines and three giant meat-smokers in the beer garden.

The drinks menu will also feature the “Guildford Cocktail” – a twist on the Long Island Iced Tea, with vodka, gin, amaretto and Cointreau.

The hotel will open for business at 3pm next Thursday.

There will be an open house for locals on Tuesday night and Premier Colin Barnett is scheduled to attend an official launch at the hotel on Wednesday.

It will be run by Melbourne’s The Publican Group, which is behind Perth venues The Aviary and The George, under a 15-year lease with a 10-year option. It will employ about 60 people.

Venue manager Rob Hazell said the hotel, which has a capacity of 750 patrons, would offer a relaxed experience, designed for locals and families.

“We want to keep it quite casual,” he said.

“Our menu is not limited by country or style, nor is it your classic knife-and-fork style dining experience.

“Chef’s menu is crafted around the perfect dish you can eat whilst holding a beer or sipping an espresso martini.”

Some of the feature dishes will include fried cheeseburger dumplings, Moreton Bay bug rolls and a variety of smoked meats. The hotel will open for lunch and dinner but, by the end of the year, they hope to also serve breakfast.

Opening hours will be 11am to midnight Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 10pm on Sundays.

“We want to create a big party atmosphere at the hotel on Sundays,” he said.

After the fire, local residents ran a strong campaign to save the hotel. And while the campaign was successful, many locals are still angry that the restoration will be followed by the construction of a five-storey residential building behind the hotel.




Thanks, The West Australian.