Food truck delights and celebrity DJs are part of the complete makeover given to the Figtree Hotel.
In December 2016, the Illawarra’s Denmeade family added the 9,334 square metre site to their hotel portfolio which also includes the Central Hotel in Shellharbour and the Unanderra Hotel.
Their vision was to renovate the blokey pub to a stylish family-friendly venue with a focus on food.
“We were pretty much bringing a touch of Newtown to Wollongong,” licencee Blake Johnson said.
“We’ve made a massive improvement on dining at Figtree, like a strong emphasis on food and beverage. We’ve completely moved the whole gaming area to where the bottle shop used to be … and we’ve also expanded the dining area.”
Patrons can choose to eat at the hotel bistro or embrace French Canadian cuisine outside in the alfresco area with the Canuck Rack Shack.
Formerly known at Le Montreal Shack, owners Sebastien Bonenfant, Mandy Brooksbank and Alex Denne smoke their meats at the Figtree site daily. Expect traditional items on their menu like poutine (chips, gravy and squeaky cheese), beef brisket with maple mustard sauce and cheese curds.
Music is another new focus for the hotel, with Mr Johnson teaming up with Music Farmers in Wollongong to bring fresh talent and vinyl on weekends, such as a recent appearance by Zach Stephenson of Hockey Dad.
“We wanted to make Figtree a venue where you’d be happy to bring your family,” Mr Johnson said.