Cafe and restaurant plans for Clifton’s Imperial Hotel

Hotel no more: An artist's impression of Shellharbour Workers Club plans for Clifton's former Imperial Hotel, which is slated to become a cafe and restaurant.

Hotel no more: An artist's impression of Shellharbour Workers Club plans for Clifton's former Imperial Hotel, which is slated to become a cafe and restaurant.

Clifton’s Imperial Hotel will be a hotel no more, under renovation plans revealed by the heritage building’s owner, Shellharbour Workers Club.

Instead, the dilapidated pub – which has been closed for more than 10 years – will become a multi-level restaurant and cafe.

The Shellharbour club has lodged a modification request for a development application approved in 2010, when WIN Corporation owned the hotel. 

The new owners – who can’t hold a hotel licence as they also own a registered club – say the “adaptive reuse” would provide a point of difference to the nearby Scarborough Hotel. In adjusted plans, the Workers’ Club hopes to install a cafe and restaurant on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor, allowing up to 290 seated patrons. 

The cafe will provide coffee and food options in the morning and the restaurant will cater for patrons in the evenings - New proposal

There would be 11 extra car spaces than in the plans approved under WIN’s ownership, taking the total to 35 spaces, as well as space for two motorbikes and seven bicycles.

There would also be extra landscaping, extended opening hours to allow the cafe to cater to breakfast trade, and a significant amount of internal and external design adjustments.

These include expanding and enclosing the ground floor deck and creating a new first floor deck to take advantage of the ocean views, as well as the reinstatement and restoration of a number of heritage features which have been run-down or removed over the years.

However, the plans note there is “extensive” termite damage to parts of the building, which would mean some internal historical features would need to be removed.

“The building is vacant and in poor condition and will likely deteriorate without intervention and regeneration,” the new proposal said.

“Where possible, the proposal aims to retain original fabric and historic features.”

The club is seeking a variation to the site’s nine-metre height limit but notes the existing height of the building is 13 metres.

It plans to apply for an “on-premises” liquor licence, which would allow it to serve alcohol with food. The new restaurant would employ about 16 staff, depending on seasonal trade requirements.

The plan is on exhibition through the council’s website until December 7.

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