In Property by Clyde Mooney

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The team behind Tamworth’s Pig & Tinder Box and Court House Hotel have taken over the music-town’s “premier live entertainment venue”, the Albert Hotel.

Around five hours north-west of Sydney, Tamworth is a community of over 60,000 residents that swells to near-bursting every January for the biggest celebration of country music in Australia.

Chris Cornforth and Fraser Haughton of Harvest Entertainment already operate two pubs in town, and last week took on the Albert with plans to leverage its reputation for live acts.

“Tamworth is renowned for its Country Music Festival and we want The Albert to be known as the live music hub of Tamworth all year ‘round, showcasing Tamworth’s best new acts and its much-loved performers,” says Cornforth.

Harvest has engaged Claudia Byrnes to “add a little spice” in the revised offering. There will be a focus on authentic ‘hawker-style’ Asian street food cuisine, with traditional a-la-carte options, and share plates and banquets. Yum Cha Sundays will begin soon after the re-opening.

“We have put together a great team at The Albert who are passionate about all things hospitality,” says Byrnes. “I was lucky enough to sample some of the menu last week and it is truly amazing.”

The Albert’s general manager, Andy Sloane, has engineered the bar offerings, and an “approachable” beer, wine and cocktail list.

Haughton says that while the group has put focus on the Hotel’s food & bev, the live music and entertainment are “the pulse” and will remain at the forefront of the offering.

“We have a few ideas as to what the future of the Hotel looks like, and we can’t wait to share them.

“Andy started as a bartender with us two years ago – a Tamworth local who has a solid background in running hotels in Sydney. When we decided to take over The Albert, Andy was the obvious choice to lead the team.”

In a town synonymous with music and an annual festival, Haughton believes the performance of The Albert has plenty of potential.

“We have seen a great response to live music at our other venues.”

The revised Albert Hotel will launch mid-April.

L-R: Fraser Haughton, Andy Sloane, Claudia Byrnes