An artist impression of the Great Western Hotel's new beer garden set to open late February.
An artist impression of the Great Western Hotel's new beer garden set to open late February. Contributed

Rocky pub unveils huge new beer garden plans

THE Great Western is kicking things into gear for 2018 with big plans to bring Rockhampton the beer garden it deserves.

Construction began on the initial stage of the development on January 2, with the project set to be completed by late February or early March.

The local iconic haunt is assuring its loyal patrons not to fret as the three adjoining, vacant houses are set to be demolished to make way for the expansion.

"We're not demolishing the Great Western Hotel itself, we're demolishing the three houses that have been purchases over the last 10 or so years to extend... and create space we can utilise,” said the Great Western Hotel's general manager Beau Thomas.

"Currently that real estate is dead area for us and it's just storage area and green rooms etcetera.

"It's quite a large investment... and in two, three or even four years' time you'll actually see that beer garden removed and a new double-storied structure be built and that's going to allow us to continue to move forward in our five and 10-year plan.”

Demolition is currently under way to make room for a beer garden at the Great Western Hotel.
Demolition is currently under way to make room for a beer garden at the Great Western Hotel. Chris Ison ROK090118cbeergarden2

The beer garden is set to be a 30 metre by 18 metre space which will hold "roughly 1000 people”.

In seat settings, the venue will hold less but will have fake turf, pallet furniture, and very modern furnishing.

The beer garden will be ready just in time to accommodate for one of Rockhampton's largest events, Beef Australia.

"We won't only be able to just hold bull rides out the back and general public inside but also be able to hold private functions in the beer garden,” Mr Thomas said.

"It's a whole new space for out of town businesses and local businesses to utilise not only during Beef Australia in that week but all year round.”

Beau Thomas from the Great Western Hotel.
Beau Thomas from the Great Western Hotel. Chris Ison ROK090118cbeergarden1

Although the venue has plans to keep up with public's demand for a "new and modern” facilities in Central Queensland, Mr Thomas assures patrons that they will be sticking to their true heritage.

"We'll obviously 100 per cent keep heritage who we are and what we do at the Great Western Hotel,” Mr Thomas said.

"We're obviously a country pub and we've got a certain façade about us and on that new structure, that façade will be replicated.

"We will never move away from who we are and what we do.

"[The last 12 months], it's been the foundation year of us building our self and cementing our self as the entertainment venue of choice here in Central Queensland.”

A lay out of the new Great Western Hotel floor plan design.
A lay out of the new Great Western Hotel floor plan design. Contributed

The Great Western Hotel owner Colin Bowden bought the venue three years ago and has been amazed with the community's support of the hotel especially during events such as Rockin Rocky.

"When we eventually get to build something new, even though it'll be modern it'll still have that rustic western look,” Mr Bowden said.

"I think Rockhampton's due for a decent beer garden.”

There may even be a cocktail or few available for the ladies.



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