A former pawn shop could be transformed into Wollongong's newest small bar from the force behind Humber and Heyday.
Entrepreneur Adam Murphy purposefully kept details to a minimum on his development application (DA) to Wollongong City Council so to keep his new venture a "secret".
It's hoped the "unique" bar at 248 Crown Street will be open by summer, serving beer on tap to up to 100 patrons each Thursday to Sunday, (with provisions to trade on Monday to Wednesdays if need arises).
It's part of a grander plan by Mr Murphy to own five different venues - including those mentioned above - across the city.
He said hospitality had take a huge hit during the COVID-19 pandemic but that wasn't stopping him from pursuing his vision.
"I feel like the Wollongong CBD is growing and I think there's just going to be more and more opportunities for improved night life in the area," Mr Murphy said.
"[There is] new residential investment at this end of town and I think there's going to be more as well. It's going to be happening in this space."
It was frustrating, he admitted, having to turn away patrons due to current restrictions but was "confident" life would return to normal in another year.
Wollongong CBD is growing and I think there's just going to be more and more opportunities for improved night life.Entrepreneur Adam Murphy
"We're not under any illusion it will return to normal any time soon but that's not stopping any plans for the future," the businessman said.
"We are super restricted as we are at the moment. Humber, for example, is operating at a quarter of its physical capacity as it is.
"That's frustrating to be turning away 400-500 people a night. But there's not a lot we can do except focus on the things you can control."
Mr Murphy wouldn't comment on the theme of the proposed bar, nor would confirm or deny it would be based on the building's heritage.
With 1923 protruding from the brickwork, the building is part of Howarth's Excelsior Hall: a row of shops that "retain evidence of Federation-period town development and the development of Wollongong's commercial centre," according to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
The application before council states the new bar would "provide a positive land use outcome to celebrate the historic shop".
While it's proposed externally painting above and below the front awning to match the heritage color palette would "notably improve" the presentation of the heritage item.
The public can comment on the development application until August 3.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.