New look Wollongong wine bar pays tribute to local history

History remembered at new wine bar: Calum Howlett, Mitch Bathis and Lana Micevska Sereno at the revamped 1796 at The Brewery. Picture: Greg Ellis.

History remembered at new wine bar: Calum Howlett, Mitch Bathis and Lana Micevska Sereno at the revamped 1796 at The Brewery. Picture: Greg Ellis.

In 1796 a wave dislodged the anchor of a small boat called the Tom Thumb which made a slightly undignified landing on a beach at what was to become part of the City of Wollongong.

222 years after that incident involving George Bass, Matthew Flinders and William Martin, a beachside wine bar is remembering that piece of explorer history and the traditional owners of the land who have called the area home for tens of thousands of years.

1796 at The Brewery has been revamped to create a different nightspot. But those who want to experience it will need to make a reservation. The opening day is August 24. The new venue will then be from 4pm to 10pm Thursday to Sunday.

The concept to change from a cocktail bar to a new-look wine bar with many other options, such as sauvignon blanc on tap, international and organic wine, gin, whiskey, French champagne and Asahi beer, is that of The Brewery’s general manager of six months Mitch Bathis.

Head chef Calum Howlett said 1796 will boast different food to the main bar. “We are basing it around share boards for people who want to have a friendly get together”.

More staff are being trained to meet the demand already coming from pre-bookings. Lana Micevska Sereno was so impressed when she sampled the venue she booked in a group of friends on the first weekend. “This is absolutely fantastic”.

The new venue for up to 40 people is also open for function bookings outside the normal hours of trade.

History remembered at new wine bar: Calum Howlett, Mitch Bathis and Lana Micevska Sereno at the revamped 1796 at The Brewery. Picture: Greg Ellis.

History remembered at new wine bar: Calum Howlett, Mitch Bathis and Lana Micevska Sereno at the revamped 1796 at The Brewery. Picture: Greg Ellis.