WORK has started on the revitalisation of Clifton’s landmark Imperial Hotel, with preparations beginning for restoration works and repairs beginning this week.
The owners of the former pub, Shellharbour Workers’ Club, bought the property from WIN Corporation in March 2015 for $2.2 million, and plan to transform the heritage landmark into a licensed eatery.
Security fences will go up this week, and workers will begin minor demolition works and repairs to the pub which closed in 2003.
A spokeswoman for Shellharbour Workers Club said the repair works were approved under a development application when WIN owned the Imperial.
WIN was given the green light by Wollongong City Council in 2010 for a $1.6 million renovation in 2010, which included two new outdoor decks. The development application proposed the restoration of the hotel’s facade, public bar and an original timber staircase, with the upstairs accommodation to be converted to office space.
At the time, Clifton residents strongly objected to the re-opening of the pub, citing noise and traffic congestion as the reasons. A compromise was found in 2011, with Council allowing the pub to re-open with reduced trading hours and noise barriers.
Sydney architects Welsh and Major have designed modified plans to be lodged with Council at a later date. These plans, says the club, are well underway.
For a history of the Imperial Hotel visit: Time Gents, Australian Pubs.