SHAMROCK HOTEL BRINGS BOUTIQUE TO BENDIGO

In Accommodation by Clyde Mooney

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Frontage_web_crp_leadBendigo’s Hotel Shamrock is forging ahead with renovations that will see its upper level offering five-star accommodation to the bustling region.

So far the hotel has undergone some repairs including a new roof, but owner Jim Hogan told PubTIC the ball has started rolling for boutique rooms upstairs.

“There’s a big call for accommodation in the area,” said Hogan, who has operated the regional Victorian pub for nearly eight years.

“Bendigo Tourism has been very supportive. Some pubs have renovated and gone up-market, but there’s a strong demand and not a lot generally.

“Most pubs are under a lot of pressure from the café and bar culture, and a lot of traditional venues have closed and more will close. You’ve got to meet the market head-on.”

Hogan has gradually rebuilt the Shamrock since taking over, and it now sports several different bars, a restaurant and beer garden. He also operates Hogan’s Hotel, in Wallan, which now enjoys a motel facility and is currently getting a new café wine-bar.

Residing primarily in Melbourne, Hogan says he has largely left his profession as an accountant to concentrate on the fluid opportunities taking place in Victorian hotels.

“Bendigo is moving ahead in leaps and bounds,” reports Hogan. “I’m pretty positive about the region and our ability to sell the rooms.”

Built in 1854, the Shamrock grew out of the Victorian gold rush, originally a restaurant and theatre opened by Joseph Carncross. He later sold the property to Irishmen William Heffernan and John Crowley, who rebuilt it after a fire in 1857 and gave it its current name the following year.

In its heyday entertaining workers from the mines it boasted a permanent orchestra, its own theatre company, and was the hub of entertainment in the gold fields.

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