THINGS are moving quickly for the Muswellbrook and District Workers Club.
In November, the organisation retired the last of its bank debt, erasing the “dark days of 2014” as stated by general manager Scott Bailey at the time.
Now, this week, work is well underway on Stage 1 of the premises’ $3 million renovations, which has put a smile on the faces of the board members.
“It’s an exciting period for the club,” Mr Bailey said.
“We’ve got 30-to-35 weeks ahead of us, as long as the weather’s favourable.
“And, if all goes according to schedule, it [Stage 1] should be finished mid-October.
“Network Refurbishments & Construction Pty Ltd is overseeing the project; they’re very experienced in their field.”
Mr Bailey admitted the first section would include 50 extra seats [to Oscar’s], and all-day dining options, with a coffee shop in the foyer.
“This will segue into a tapas bar for the evening,” he said.
“We’re also adding a children’s play area, with the capacity to hold 40 kids.
“New bathrooms and a bar will be fitted in the Ron Adams Room, while the existing foyer restrooms and bathrooms are being refurbished.
“We’re installing a small 20-seat meeting room, as well.”
Mr Bailey also believes the traditional bar with beer on tap is declining in popularity, with customers leaning towards craft beer, specialty ciders, and cocktails.
“There is nowhere in town that does it to quality,” he said.
“There is a clear market demand for it – and it is part of Stage 1, too.”
It’s certainly a positive transformation for the “Workies”.
“From where we were, the club’s changing fortune is nothing short of extraordinary,” Mr Bailey said.
“We’ve been self-improving as it [the club] brought itself back to a healthy trading position.
“The car park has been resurfaced, the beer lines replaced, a new cash register system was installed, 50-plus poker machines were renewed, 399 solar panels have been added to the roof, the vintage air-conditioning was replaced, its member loyalty system was significantly improved and, along with Muswellbrook Shire Council and Micheal Rinkin, a twin cinema was built.”