When our client presented this project to us the infamous old Empress Hotel was derelict and in disuse. Our brief was to make her watertight again, while transforming her from a bar and bandroom to a bistro pub. It was important to preserve the rough and ready character of the old pub while welcoming the young families of North Fitzroy.
The roof was removed from the former bandroom to open up a huge courtyard and beer garden, with the existing giant tree at its centre. Original trusses were kept in place. The existing building was updated for building regulations, and new toilet blocks, office and coolroom provided. The kitchen was remodelled and the front bar and dining room refreshed. A flexible lounge zone was created next to the courtyard with steel doors and timber seating.