Building a new pub less than five metres from one you already own seems strange.
But that’s just what just the AHL Group is doing.
The Woolworths-owned hotel group already has the North Wollongong Hotel and, in less than two weeks, will open up a James Squire bar next-door in the long-deserted Lone Star restaurant building.
It’s a move than makes sense, according to North Gong licencee and venue manager of The Daring Squire Toby Wiedemann.
“We actually feel like there’s going to be a clear distinction between the two venues,” Mr Wiedemann said.
“The North Gong will remain as-is where we think we’ve got a good value option and next-door will be something a little bit different.”
While one or two Squire beers will be on tap at the North Gong, the whole range will be available next-door – as well as a few surprises.
“The distinction between the two venues from a ranging perspective is that James Squire brews a number of beers that are only available in their brewhouses,” he said.
Those beers aren't available in other bars or bottle shops.
When The Daring Squire will throw open its doors on December 19, Mr Wiedemann said the exclusive beers would be a lager called Close Shave and a Vienna marzen style.
Despite being referred to as a brewhouse, Mr Wiedemann said the beers would not be made on-site.
“There’s certainly some James Squire brewhouses that do have that capacity but the footprint didn’t really allow for us to do that here,” he said.
“The beers will all be brewed at the James Squire and Malt Shovel breweries under the Lion arm.”
More than $1.5 million has been spent in the fit-out for The Daring Squire, which is the 10th Squire pub in the country.
Mr Wiedemann said there had been discussion about what to do with the site and it was felt there would be a market for a James Squire brewhouse in the city.
“Wollongong’s growing in terms of bars,” he said.
“It seems every other day there’s a new small bar opening up. We’ve got discerning customers in the area who are looking for a great craft beer product and food to go along with it.
“We think that appreciation for beers and local produce will mean that the venue will be a success here.”
The parking area will remain the same as Mr Wiedemann said it was sufficient when both the North Gong and Lone Star were operating.
While it wasn’t expected that people would take a beer from one venue to the other, he said “we won’t be drawing a line in the sand and saying you can’t walk past this point with one or the other”.