Ipswich pub luresthe wine bar set
By PETER FOLEY
THE $1 million Hotel Metropole renovation is nearly finished with the historic CBD pub due to be reopened early next month. Manager Michael Samios said his family set out to completely refurbish the 98-year-old hotel in the Top of Town section of Brisbane Street.
He said the aim was to stem the tide of people going to Brisbane in search of wine and cocktails and upmarket bistro dining.
"We're bringing a proper CBD hotel to Ipswich," Mr Samios said.
"The market we're aiming for is the people who go to Brisbane for that sort of thing."
Outside, the pub that has undergone several name changes over the years had changed little. The inside had been completely reconfigured.
He said to the left of the foyer was an Italianstyle cafe that would become a bistro by night. To the right was a lounge and wine and cocktail bar.
Outdoors at the front of the hotel was a contemporary cafe dining area where groups of eight to 10 people could sit at communal tables.
While 60 people could be accommodated indoors, there would be space on the footpath for 25 to 30 diners with another 80 in the beer garden.
Mr Samios said he used to be Sydney's leading fine wine merchant and he put a lot of emphasis on wine and getting the bars right.
He planned the opening for December 8.
The Harp of Erin was the original hotel on the site. The Hotel Metropole was built in 1906. In 1997, it was renamed Harp of Erin before it was changed to the Silver Fern by its New Zealand owners.