In Openings by Clyde Mooney

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Iris Group has quietly opened a brand new heritage pub in western Sydney heartland, restoring and converting a prime three-storey structure opposite Campsie Station.

Sam Arnaout’s Iris bought the site on the prominent corner of Campsie thoroughfares Beamish Street and South Parade, proximate to two of the State’s best-performing gaming pubs, the Campsie Hotel and Oasis on Beamish.

The building was a run-down mix of 10 oversized apartments atop mixed retail, including a dentist and barber, but the structure itself is very reminiscent of a classic suburban pub.

Iris has a vision to create a premium hospitality venue with cutting-edge betting facilities and a restaurant catering to a gap in the local market, with 22 serviced apartments above.

Campsie has not had a new pub in circa 65 years, and a hotel licence had to be relocated within the highly regulated LGA, along with 27 EGMs, in a project not likely to be repeated in the area.

After strong support from Council, Iris worked with Council and IHAP on a restoration sympathetic to the building’s heritage status. Most of the internals were removed, power, gas, water all upgraded, and the building rebuilt within, with the façade respected and repurposed to bring it to a suitable standard. The historic elements are complemented by modern features, such as the Feng Shui-inspired pond that meanders through the venue.

Despite not previously being a pub, Iris hoped to use the historic look to bring the impression that Station House had been a pub for the past century.

“It’s quite an inspirational new venue that you can certainly see takes pride of place in its very busy, very active high-street retail position,” offers Sam Arnaout.

“It’s far exceeding our expectations. The apartments are running at close to 100 per cent occupancy every week, and it’s a very well-patronised venue.”

After quietly opening the doors in April to gauge local reaction, Arnaout reports the group is ready to gear up its presence in time for the fast-approaching warmer months.

“It’s one we’re very proud of,” he says. “It’s a very successful brownfield pub development for us, and we’re delighted with the outcome.

“Hopefully it will stand proud for the next 100 years.”

Station House, Campsie