THE Leederville Hotel has been granted approval for a big overhaul, but not without dissent from some local traders.
Vincent city council staff were all for the project, saying the current looming frontage is “dark and uninviting” and offers little interaction to the street.
“I think we all know the elephant in the room is the Leederville Hotel does on occasion have some anti-social incidents,” Cr Matt Buckels says.
General manager Jason Antczak promises change is on the horizon, with the hotel keen to attract more sophisticated clientele.
“Hand on heart, this development will ensure that the demographic of the hotel will change,” Mr Antczak says.
“We no longer want to deal with the 18 to 20-year-olds. We want to be able to provide a vibrant amenity to the local community, to local businesses, local residents and patrons from afar.
‘We no longer want to deal with the 18 to 20-year-olds’ Leederville manager
“The intent is to provide a fantastic amenity including a kitchen, tapas-style offerings, and reconstruct the hotel and bring that old lady back to her former glory as a pinnacle of the Leederville area.”
Along with a foodie-focus the hotel’s hoping that opening its pub to the streetscape with new transparent awnings will help enliven the “dark and uninviting” deadspot on the pavement.
The council unanimously approved the plan: “I think this is a step in the right direction to attracting a more rounded clientele,” Cr Buckels said.
“Anything that can improve that interaction with the street and offer the venue the chance to be able to improve their offering to the community and patrons is a positive step,’ Cr Josh Topelberg concurred.
Nearby traders Stuart Lofthouse (of Greens & Co) and Debbie Saunders (of 50ml) were skeptical, with Mr Lofthouse saying he was tired of the council ignoring his simple questions about the hotel’s agenda, which he says has always gotten its way via the state administrative tribunal whenever the council knocked its proposals back.
Ms Saunders, whose nearby cafe has suffered drunks peeing and vomiting in its back alley, pointed out the awning wasn’t compliant with council rules and the changes would undermine the historic value of the hotel, which is listed on the council’s heritage inventory.
by DAVID BELL